November 08, 2012

(Washington, D.C.) – Joining forces at the 50 yard-line of Gillette Stadium, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and New England Patriots All-Pro Defensive Tackle Vince Wilfork have come together to support diabetes awareness. Shaheen and Wilfork today released a public service announcement (PSA) filmed as part of American Diabetes Month® calling on Patriots fans across New England to learn more about diabetes prevention and care.

The PSA will be broadcast throughout New England during November and is also available on Shaheen’s Facebook page and website. Photos from the event are also available on Facebook.

“Vince Wilfork and I agree on a few very important issues: our support for the Patriots and our support in the fight against diabetes,” said Senator Shaheen. “We have both seen firsthand the effects of diabetes and are both committed to raising awareness of this devastating disease. As November marks American Diabetes Month, I am proud to team up with Vince in our efforts to help further diabetes research and work towards a cure.”

"Diabetes affects millions of Americans and is a disease that has had a profound impact on me and my family," said Wilfork. “I am proud to team up with Senator Jeanne Shaheen to continue our fight against diabetes and raise the awareness about this debilitating and deadly disease. With a healthy diet and exercise, we can tackle type 2 Diabetes. Please join our team to defeat diabetes.”

Shaheen and Wilfork have both had family members affected by diabetes. Shaheen’s granddaughter Elle was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she eight years old and Wilfork’s father died from type 2 at the age of 48.

Shaheen serves as the co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus and has been a strong advocate for families and individuals struggling with diabetes. She has introduced legislation to enhance research on gestational diabetes and has been a leader in supporting the Special Diabetes Program and the artificial pancreas, a device that could improve the lives of millions of Americans living with diabetes. 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.

American Diabetes Month is a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control. For years, the American Diabetes Association has used this month as an opportunity to raise awareness of the disease and its serious complications.

“Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes®. It is our responsibility to ensure that our youth have the right guidance and resources to get healthy,” said Larry Hausner, CEO, American Diabetes Association. “It is through our awareness activities surrounding American Diabetes Month that we hope to call greater attention to this epidemic that is facing our nation.”

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