Minority Press

Diabetes Research Advocates to Testify at Senate Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC -Three time Emmy-winning actress Jean Smart of "Designing Women" fame and Miami Heat guard Ray Allen, a two-time NBA champion, will head to Capitol Hill this week to urge Congress to continue funding for research aimed at finding a cure for diabetes.

The two are slated to testify before the Senate Special Committee on Aging at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday in G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  The hearing will explore the impact Type 1 diabetes has on individuals of all ages, recent medical advances and federal funding for research.   The panel will also hear from 14 year-old Quinn Ferguson, a Type 1 diabetes victim from Poland, Maine; Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; and, JDRF President and CEO Jeffrey Brewer.

The hearing comes six months after Congress approved a one-year $150 million extension of the Special Diabetes Program Congress as part of a broader bill to avert the fiscal cliff.   The program, which accounts for 35 percent of all federal funding for Type 1 diabetes research, is set to expire in September 2014 unless Congress acts.   

Allen will be joined by his six year-old son, Walker, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 17 months.  Smart, a long-time diabetes research and education advocate, has lived with the disease since age 13.    

HEARING: Diabetes Research: Reducing the Burden of Diabetes at All Ages and Stages
2:00 p.m., EDT, Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G-50
Jean Smart, Actress
Ray Allen, Miami Heat Player and Father of JDRF Children's Congress Delegate, Walker Allen
Quinn Ferguson, JDRF Children's Congress Delegate
Griffin Rodgers, MD, Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders, National Institutes of Health
Jeffrey Brewer, President and CEO, JDRF