The American Diabetes Association is a health organization that is dedicated to helping diabetic patients so that they can fight the various complications that arise due to the disease. Other than helping people live a healthier life with diabetes, the organization also funds research directed towards finding treatment options and cures for the medical condition. The American Diabetes Association therefore works with patients and healthcare professionals in order to address anything that is related to diabetes. The organization is covered under 501(c)3 and is a non-profit charitable organization.
With the responsibility of raising funds on its shoulders, the American Diabetes Association needs to organize specific events regularly in order to ensure that they can continue to run the programs that they have. One of the fund raising events that they have is called "Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes". This is the largest fund raising event that the association manages and the event talks place in various parts of the country. There are more than 150 walks that take place across 100 markets around the United States.
The Tour de Cure is a cycling fund raiser that is held in 40 states. The event is a ride and not a race and routes are created for all kind of bicyclists. The Diabetes Expo is a trade show that the association conceptualizes and manages. While it is a great place for companies to showcase the new diabetic products that they have created, it is also a great place for all diabetic people to check out the advancements in technology that have taken place and the manner in which it can help them.
The School Walk for Diabetes is a K-12 educational program that is directed towards healthy living and community involvement. This is a great initiative that teaches children to live and eat healthily. It teaches children the importance of making the right choices. In addition to these, there are also other fund raising events that the American Diabetes Association organizes. These include the Bad (Bikers Against Diabetes) Ride and Father of the Year.
The mission of the American Diabetes Association is fairly simple and yet extremely effective and powerful. The stated mission is to "prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes". They are also very active in leading the fight against the various deadly complications of diabetes by funding research that can help in finding more effective means of fighting the condition, by delivering services to various communities across the country and by providing objective and credible information. The organization also helps those who have been wronged due to the medical condition.
There are various programs and activities that the American Diabetes Association organizes. The national hotline is a great way in which they can address the specific concerns of many people. It is estimated that there were 300,000 contacts made by various people with the organization in order to clarify issues that they may have with regards to diabetic management. The call center is a free service that is provided to all and it consists of highly trained people who can answer non-medical questions about diabetes in English and Spanish.
The Family Link Program aims at providing information to families with regards to the condition. This is done through schools and various community programs. The aim of the program is to help people recognize the early symptoms of diabetes so that complications can be avoided at a later stage. This program also provides toolkits for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes recently. ADA also has a social networking site for youth with diabetes called Planet D.
There are also specific programs that have been created for specific communities that are at a higher risk of diabetes like the African American communities, the Hispanic communities and the Asian American communities. They also take up advocacy for those suffering from this condition at the political level.
The American Diabetes Association was formed by 28 physicians that came together in 1940 to create an association that would concentrate on finding solutions to the issue of diabetes and related complications. Initially, the membership of the association as limited to physicians, health professionals and corporates that were related to the field. The first president of the association was Dr. Cecil Striker. He felt that the individuals suffering from diabetes mellitus was the reason for the existence of the association and therefore his social, economic and medical issues were something that they should be concerned with.
The first 20 to 30 years were a time where the medical community was learning more about the condition, the specific hereditary and environmental causes of diabetes, specific early warning signs that could help detect diabetes and the various complications that can emanate from unmanaged diabetes. This is something that brought the medical community together in its fight against this disease.
In addition to that, the American Diabetes Association also made strides into the public awareness arena with the launch of "Diabetes Forecast" a consumer magazine was launched in 1948. In another ten years, it was also available in a form that the visually impaired could read. In 1948, summer camps were organized for children with diabetes and the first National Diabetes Week was observed. Today this has grown to become a National Diabetes Month and is observed every November.
Some of the major changes that occurred in the association took place in the 1960s. Donations were more focused on research funding and the association took an active role in insurance coverage and equal employment for those who suffered from diabetes. The awareness program was also expanded through volunteers.
In 1970, the association went through another major change and the membership of the American Diabetes Association was expanded to include general people who had some interest in diabetes as a medical condition. This is the time when the organization became a volunteer organization. This is when special events for fund raising were organized, popular among which were "Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes", Diabetes Expo, BAD Ride, "Father of the Year", "Tour de Care" and more.
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