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Grammy-nominated singer helps launch diabetes campaign

Eli Lilly & Co has joined forces with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Angie Stone to launch a national diabetes campaign in the US
Eli Lilly & Co has joined forces with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Angie Stone to launch a national diabetes campaign in the US.

The national Fearless African-Americans Connected and Empowered (FACE) diabetes campaign is aimed at promoting a better standard of living through improved behaviours and attitudes. Patients in the African-American community, which is disproportionately affected with the disease, will be encouraged to better manage their disease through physical activity and regulation of their diet.

"When I was first diagnosed with diabetes eight years ago, I was in total denial about my disease and its impact on my life. I didn't understand the importance of following my doctor's treatment program and making lifestyle changes to better manage my diet and my weight," said Stone. "I want to be an example and encourage our community to get advice and fearlessly face diabetes."

More than three million African-Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year, according to the American Diabetes Association, and research has indicated that almost one million remain undiagnosed. Lilly said that the number of people who have diabetes and suffer resultant medical complications is rising rapidly.

Dr Eugene Wright, diabetes specialist and medical director, primary care and specialty practices of North Carolina Cape Fear Valley Health System, said: "The disproportionate impact of diabetes on African-Americans is staggering. However, just because there is a high prevalence in our community, it doesn't mean we should accept diabetes as something we can't change."

FACE has already been successfully run as pilot programme in Chicago and will be rolled out across the US. The campaign will be launched in major US cities starting in Atlanta in May 2008, followed by Washington DC and Indianapolis. Patients will be able to access online information about disease management and read Angie stone's story and experiences of coping with diabetes.

Baryona Billington, manager of the diabetes business unit for Lilly, said the company is, "excited to launch the FACE diabetes campaign nationally and help African-Americans with diabetes learn to better manage a disease that can lead to devastating complications if left uncontrolled. Support of the FACE diabetes campaign is in line with our company's mission to do all we can to arrest the progression of diabetes".

15th April 2008

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