"This is a memorable day for Americans with diabetes and other debilitating diseases, and we thank the bipartisan group of Senators who voted to allow scientists to pursue the most promising avenue to find a cure and better treatments for diabetes. Unfortunately, today's sense of hope will be shattered for the 20.8 million American children and adults with diabetes -- and those who love and care for them -- if President Bush vetoes this legislation.
"A veto -- his first ever -- would be a devastating setback for Americans who are affected by diabetes and other debilitating diseases. The President has a responsibility to the 70% of Americans who support embryonic stem cell research. This is a historic opportunity to advance scientific research and it shouldn't be squandered," Smith said.
Diabetes is one of the nation's most prevalent, debilitating and costly diseases. Nearly 21 million American children and adults have diabetes, up from 18 million when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last measured diabetes prevalence in 2003. If present trends continue, one in three Americans, and one in two minorities, born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. The cost of diabetes in the U.S. in 2002 was at least $132 billion.
The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. The Association's advocacy efforts include helping to combat discrimination against people with diabetes; advocating for the increase of federal diabetes research and programs; and improved access to, and quality of, healthcare for people with diabetes. The Association's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association provides service to hundreds of communities across the country. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit http://www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.