JDF to People with Diabetes: Put the Pressure on Congress

The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF) is urging people with diabetes to take out pen and paper to ask Congress for more diabetes research money. In September, Congress began its discussion on bills to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

JDF wants Congress to give every penny of $827 million to cure diabetes, as recommended by the Diabetes Research Working Group (DRWG). A collection of health care experts, the DRWG was asked by Congress to come up with a plan to cure diabetes. The group followed through with a plan of necessary research and clinical trials, and told Congress that $827 million would cover the bills.

In a “Legislative Action Alert,” JDF recommends writing to representatives and senators using the format below.

Dear Senator/Representative:

  • First, tell your personal story. Explain that you are a voting constituent of your elected official’s district or state. Then, writes the JDF, “The member needs to know why you care about funding a cure for diabetes and its complications through research.”
  • The next paragraph is offered by the JDF:
  • “I strongly urge you to support the recommendations of the Diabetes Research Working Group that calls for $827 million for diabetes research funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I also hope that you support a 15% increase in funding for the NIH; this is consistent with the bipartisan commitment to double the NIH budget over five years, by 2003. Increased funding for NIH and ultimately, diabetes research, is the only hope my family and I have to find a cure for this deadly disease. There are over 16 million Americans with diabetes and one person dies every three minutes from diabetes. This leading killer costs this country close to $100 billion each year in treating people with diabetes. Please do all you can to make an investment in saving lives by curing diabetes through the support of research.”

  • The final paragraph, as the JDF suggests, should read: “Thank you for your support and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about diabetes.”
  • End with your name, address and phone number.

To get the names and addresses of Congress members, JDF recommends visiting www.house.gov/writerep for representatives, and www.senate.gov/writesen for senators.

Once the letter is written, send a copy to the JDF government relations office, at mthreatt@jdfcure.org, or to 1400 I Street, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C., 20005.

To receive regular email updates on JDF’s lobbying efforts, send an email to: join-jdfadvocates@lists.jdfcure.org.

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