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What's Wrong With This Picture?

NIH Funding
16 million Americans have diabetes. That's more than five times the number of Americans who have AIDS and breast cancer combined. Yet NIH research funding for diabetes is a mere shadow of AIDS and breast cancer funding. Why is that?

20/20, the ABC News program, asked that question of Senator Arlen Specter in an episode that aired on October 11, 1999. The Senator's explanation of the funding discrepency? Whoever panders most to Congress gets the most money.

Take Action

AIDS and breast cancer have high-profile celebrities who lobby tirelessly for funding and keep their diseases in the national spotlight, ensuring that they receive funding. Diabetes needs a similar battle plan. If you are interested in helping to make a difference, you can:

  1. Visit the local offices of your Senators and Representative. Explain what it is like to live, day to day, with diabetes. Bring your child. Have your child explain finger sticks, blood tests, feeling low. Make it personal.

  2. Write a letter to Senator Arlen Spector, stressing the need for increased funding for research into both prevention and cure of Type 1 diabetes. Here's how to reach the Senator:

    Senator Arlen Spector
    711 Hart Building
    Washington DC 20510
    Tel: 202-224-4254
    Fax: 202-228-1229

  3. Contact members of the Senate Subcommitte on Labor, Health and Human Service and Education, which oversees NIH funding:

    Arlen Specter, Chairman, Pennsylvania (e-mail
    Thad Cochran, Mississippi (e-mail
    Slade Gorton, Washington (web form for e-mail)
    Judd Gregg, New Hampshire (email
    Larry Craig, Idaho (web form for e-mail)
    Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas (e-mail
    Ted Stevens, Alaska Jon Kyl, Arizona Tom Harkin, Ranking Member Iowa (e-mail
    Ernest Hollings, South Carolina (web form for e-mail)
    Daniel Inouye, Hawaii (web form for e-mail)
    Harry Reid, Nevada (e-mail
    Herb Kohl, Wisconsin (e-mail
    Patty Murray, Washington (e-mail
    Dianne Feinstein, California (e-mail

  4. Get involved with the advocacy arms of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.


Posted 13 October 1999

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Last Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 19:28:21
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