Margaret Himelfarb. mother of 21-year-old Michael, diagnosed when he was four, is leading an effort to convince the U.S. Postal Service to issue a diabetes awareness postage stamp. Here is her message.
Three-quarters of a century after the discovery of insulin, it is time to recognize that diabetes remains a costly, killer disease.
Diabetes strikes one in 17 Americans. It disproportionately affects the elderly, the poor, and many minority groups including African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics. The incidence of Type 1 diabetes is increasing most rapidly in children under the age of six.
The many daily insulin shots and blood tests that people with diabetes typically require are the easy part. The devastating complications that often accompany diabetes -- blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and amputation -- reduce the quality of life and shorten life expectancy by an average of twenty years.
In addition to the human toll, the economic costs are staggering. In the United States this year alone, diabetes and its complications will consume US$138 billion -- that's one in seven health care dollars and one out of every four Medicare dollars.
Diabetes demands our attention. A diabetes awareness stamp will help make this disease a national priority.
Please send a postcard or letter urging the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee to issue a diabetes awareness postage stamp. If you can, include your own personal story about diabetes.
Thank you for making a difference in the lives of 16 million Americans.
Margaret Conn Himelfarb
Please sign your note or postcard and address it to:
Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Management
U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza S.W., Room 4474EB
Washington, D.C. 21260-6756
Last Updated: Thursday August 29, 2002 20:59:46
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