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Shaheen, Wilfork meet with New Hampshire students on Diabetes Alert Day to promote awareness, encourage healthy living

(Derry, N.H.)— U .S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and New England Patriots All-Pro Defensive Lineman Vince Wilfork teamed up again today on Diabetes Alert Day at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School in Derry to promote diabetes awareness and encourage healthy living.

Speaking to a crowd of 750 students, Shaheen and Wilfork shared how diabetes has affected them and their families and spoke about the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle.  Both Shaheen and Wilfork have had family members affected by diabetes. Shaheen’s granddaughter Elle was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was eight years old and Wilfork’s father died from type 2 at the age of 48.

“I’m a big fan of Vince’s work both on and off the field, and it was great to come together to address an issue so important to both of us,” Shaheen said. “We have an obligation to do everything we can to blunt the growth of diabetes, and Diabetes Alert Day is a great opportunity to not only raise awareness but take important preventive measures.

“If we can slow down the growth of this chronic disease, we’ll be improving the quality of life for people across the nation, and while we do so, we’ll also be saving our health system money,” added Shaheen, who serves as the co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus and has been a strong advocate for families and individuals struggling with diabetes.  

Shaheen and Wilfork have previously worked together to raise diabetes awareness, most recently when they filmed a public service announcement at the 50 yard-line of Gillette Stadium as part of American Diabetes Month.

Earlier this month Shaheen and Diabetes Caucus co-chair Susan Collins (R-ME), introduced new legislation to establish a commission of health care experts to advance diabetes care and prevention. The bill, the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Care Act, would bring together public and private sector experts in diabetes research and treatment to offer insight improving clinical care for diabetes patients. Wilfork created the Vince Wilfork Foundation which supports diabetes research, awareness, prevention and proper care. Wilfork is a passionate supporter of diabetes awareness and has started such events as the NFL Draft Day Fundraiser and the Tackle Diabetes Fundraiser. 

Diabetes Alert Day is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association and serves as an annual, one-day call to action asking Americans to assess their potential risk for developing type 2 diabetes.