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Elliot Yamin: Fighting Diabetes

The American Idol star says "it's OK to have diabetes and still dream big"

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Elliot Yamin, the American Idol star who's just launched a skyrocketing solo career, had to learn the hard way how important it was to manage his diabetes. In the October issue of the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Forecast magazine, Yamin talks openly about his diagnosis at age 16 -- and how hard it is to manage his diabetes while keeping up a busy schedule as a pop star.

Being diagnosed as a teenager was tough. "I didn't understand how I could go from being a normal kid to, overnight, having this lifelong disease that was incurable," says Yamin. While other kids were just worrying about getting their drivers' licenses, Yamin had more serious concerns. "Luckily, I had the support of my endocrinologist, my other doctors, my mom" -- who has type 2 diabetes -- "and my family."

Today, it's his full schedule as an American Idol finalist and a recording artist for Hickory Records that's a challenge for the 29-year-old. In addition to diligently testing his blood sugar, Yamin says that using an insulin pump has made a big difference. "The pump has been a godsend for me. I've had it for about 6 years and ever since then I've really been able to manage my blood sugar," he says. "I have really learned how to count carbs and also wear my insulin pump, which is more conducive to my lifestyle now."

Yamin is riding high with a newly released self-titled CD that debuted as #3 on the Billboard 200 and made his new artist debut on an independent label. He's also learned to use his newfound fame as a platform for his other passion: fighting diabetes. Recently he came to Washington to advocate for more government funding of diabetes. "There's so much money that pours in and I want to be a big part of the biggest part, which is making sure that the money is used properly and making sure that we have enough money to really make a difference."

Also in this issue, the Diabetes Advocate section looks at the federal advocacy priorities of the ADA, including restoring the Americans with Disabilities Act as it was originally intended when passed in 1990. Profiled is Stephen Orr, a pharmacist in Rapid City, SD, who was discharged from a position at a Wal-Mart pharmacy in Chadron, NE. Orr had to close the pharmacy for his half-hour lunch breaks to keep his type 1 diabetes in check, which Wal-Mart would not allow. Orr fought his case in court, but Wal-Mart prevailed.

In addition, this issue of Diabetes Forecast brings you stories about:

- Six health issues women with diabetes shouldn't ignore.

- Inflammation and its connection to diabetes and heart disease.

- Healthy comfort food recipes, plus tips for taking advantage of the

season's best produce.

Diabetes Forecast has been America's leading diabetes magazine for over 55 years. Each full-color issue offers the latest news on diabetes research and treatment. Its mission is to provide information, inspiration, and support to people with diabetes, helping them to live a healthier lifestyle, control their diabetes, and prevent or treat its many complications. The magazine is published monthly by the American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association is the nation's premier voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. 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 services 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 Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

SOURCE American Diabetes Association
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