WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the 2009 NBA playoff season in full swing, Sharing Miracles, a 30-minute public affairs television program that tells the compelling and inspirational stories of real patients, will feature NBA Hall-of-Famer and diabetes patient Dominique Wilkins. Sharing Miracles now airs every Sunday morning on nearly 300 television stations.
A nine-time NBA all-star who spent the majority of his career with the Atlanta Hawks, Wilkins retired as the ninth-leading scorer in NBA history, topping the league in 1986 with an average of 30.3 points per game. Nicknamed "The Human Highlight Film," Wilkins is still remembered for his slam-dunk skill, winning two NBA Slam-Dunk contests. In a fitting end to a spectacular career, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Speaking about his career in this month's episode, he gives credit for his accomplishments to his fans and his fellow players: "The thing that stands out most for me is the excitement the game brought to me. I wanted to give that back to the fans. They really helped to elevate my game, and when I played against great players, it did nothing but fuel me to be a better player."
However, according to current Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers and NBA Hall-of-Famer Bob McAdoo, both of whom appear on this month's episode, the credit belongs to Wilkins. Rivers says: "I thought he was the most athletic player in the NBA in his era. But I also thought he was a creative player, and I thought his will made him a great player. He had such pride in his ability and his game that he was one of the few players that had the ability to will himself to have great games."
Shortly after retiring in 1999, however, Wilkins consulted a doctor. "I wasn't sick, but I was feeling off," he says. He learned that he had diabetes - the same disease that had killed his father and grandfather.
In fact, Wilkins said, he likely was diabetic even before retiring, but failed to recognize the symptoms: "After games, I would feel off, I would sweat really badly, I would feel sick, and I would have to eat something really quickly. I didn't realize then that my blood sugar was low."
Upon receiving his disturbing diagnosis, Wilkins confronted his disease head-on. "I changed my diet, I started exercising, and I started taking my medicine," he said. "All of those three components together - really, it's very simple - let you live a healthy life. I didn't want what happened to my dad to happen to me. I won't let it beat me, and now I feel better than I've ever felt."
That's why now, he's not just a champion on the court. "Going through what I have been through with diabetes made me realize that I have to be a champion for trying to eradicate diabetes, changing the way that we look at diabetes, and trying to help people understand and educate themselves," Wilkins said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, more than 23 million people in the United States have diabetes - but roughly one quarter do not know it. If the current trends continue, the American Diabetes Association estimates, one in every three Americans born after the year 2000 will develop the disease in their lifetime.
That's why America's pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies are committed to discovering new medicines to treat diabetes. In fact, today there are 150 potential new medicines in development for the disease.
Speaking about this effort, Roche scientist Dr. Rachele Berria discusses how patients can take steps to help prevent the disease. "Two out of three Americans now are either overweight or obese. Obesity has become to type-2 diabetes what cigarette smoking is to lung cancer. Even small amounts of weight loss, for example ten pounds, can make a big difference in circumventing or managing type-2 diabetes," Berria said.
Upcoming episodes of Sharing Miracles will feature Pro Football Hall-of-Famer and Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Ditka, who battles heart disease; rapper and actor Ice-T, who lost both of his parents to heart attacks; and four-time World Series champion Darryl Strawberry, who overcame colon cancer.
Previous episodes of Sharing Miracles have featured Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, a breast cancer advocate; Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Naomi Judd, who overcame Hepatitis C; Emmy Award-winning actor Joey Pantoliano, who suffers from clinical depression; Super Bowl Champion and former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, who has asthma; two-time NCAA tournament-winning
The new episode debuts May 3. Sharing Miracles airs on Sunday mornings on the following network-affiliated stations:
The show also airs on 251 community broadcast stations across the country and is available worldwide for viewing in its entirety at www.sharingmiracles.com. For free DVDs of Sharing Miracles, please contact the PhRMA press line at 202-835-3460 or go to www.sharingmiracles.com.
Community stations airing Sharing Miracles are located in the following cities: Anchorage, AK; Decatur, AL; Harrison, AR; Mountain Home, AR; Tempe, AZ; Bath, ME; Casa Grande, AZ; Chino Valley, AZ; Anaheim, CA; Compton, CA; Coralville, CO; Del Mar, CA; Gilroy, CA; Hayward, CA; Pacifica, CA; Pasadena, CA; Petaluma, CA; San Andreas, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Arvada, CO; Aurora, CO; Golden, CO; Longmont, CO; Thornton, CO; Bridgeport, CT; Hamden, CT; Hartford, CT; Madison, CT; North Haven, CT; Plainville, CT; Simsbury, CT; Brooksville, FL; Coral Springs, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fort Myers, FL; MacDill AFB, FL; Tampa, FL; Palm Coast, FL; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, GA; Douglasville, GA; Fort Oglethorpe, GA; Hilo, HI; Ames, IA; Des Moines, IA; Fairfield, IA; Mount Vernon, IA; Olin, IA; Muscatine, IA; Coeur d'Alene, ID ; Addison, IL; Aurora, IL; Batavia, IL; Darien, IL; Glen Ellyn, IL; Lake Forest, IL; Naperville, IL; Plainfield, IL; Romeoville, IL; Urbana, IL; Wheaton, IL; Austin, IN; Bloomington, IN; Connersville, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Lawrence, KS; Covington, KY; Highland Heights, KY; Louisville, KY; Bossier City, LA; Houma, LA; Lafayette, LA; Mandeville, LA; New Orleans, LA; Amherst, MA; Arlington, MA; Boston, MA; Brookline, MA; Carver, MA; Chelmsford, MA; Dracut, MA; Easthampton, MA; Foxboro, MA; Holden, MA; Hopkinton, MA; Leominster, MA; Lexington, MA; Longmeadow, MA; Lynn, MA; Marion, MA; Sandwich, MA; Worcester, MA; Easton, MD; Greenbelt, MD; Largo, MD; Rockville, MD; Bath, ME; Boothbay Harbor, ME; Bridgton, ME; Brunswick, ME; Madison, ME; Mexico, ME; Ann Arbor, MI; Cadillac, MI; Farmington Hills, MI; Holland, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Lake Orion, MI; Manistee, MI; Portage, MI; Romeo, MI; Waterford, MI; Wyandotte, MI; Blaine, MN; Bloomington, MN; Champlin, MN; Coon Rapids, MN; Duluth, MN; Fergus Falls, MN; Hibbing, MN; Hutchinson, MN; Minneapolis, MN; Rosemont, MN; Spring Park, MN; Stillwater, MN; White Bear Lake, MN; Columbia, MO; Independence, MO; Ste. Genevieve, MO; Hillsboro, MS; Vicksburg, MS; Great Falls, MT; Helena, MT; Albemarle, NC; Charlotte, NC; Knightdale, NC; New Bern, NC; Fargo, ND; Grand Island, NE; Hastings, NE; Omaha, NE; Claremont, NH; Derry, NH; Durham, NH; Londonderry, NH; Manchester, NH; North Conway, NH; Wolfeboro, NH; Bloomfield, NJ; Metuchen, NJ; Pomona, NJ; Princeton, NJ; Statewide, NJ; Wayne, NJ; Albuquerque, NM; Los Alamos, NM; Santa Fe, NM; Taos, NM; Boulder City, NV; Carson City, NV; Minden, NV; Chappaqua, NY; Fairport, NY; Staten Island, NY; Tivoli, NY; Webster, NY; Athens, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Defiance, OH; Fairborn, OH; Hudson; OH; Macedonia, OH; Medina, OH; Middletown, OH; Norwood, OH; Troy, OH; Perry, OK; Oregon City, OR; Silverton, OR; Ardmore, PA; Berwyn, PA; Bethel Park, PA; Gettysburg, PA; Harrisburg, PA; McMurray, PA; Moon Township, PA; Pottstown, PA; Reading, PA; Wayne, PA; York, PA; Clarksville, TN; Franklin, TN; Germantown, TN; Murfreesboro, TN; College Station, TX; Denton, TX; Houston, TX; Kingsville, TX; Cedar City, UT; Logan, UT; Salt Lake City, UT; Blacksburg, VA; Herndon, VA; Norfolk, VA; Roanoke, VA; Suffolk, VA; Barre, VT; Bellow Falls, VT; Bristol, VT; Burlington, VT; Hyde Park, VT; Manchester Center, VT; Middlebury, VT; Newport, VT; Springfield, VT; Waitsfield, VT; Bainbridge Island, WA; Bremerton, WA; Ellensburg, WA; Kent, WA; Longview, WA; Port Townsend, WA; Seattle, WA; Toppenish, WA; Dodgeville, WI; Eau Claire, WI; Hartford, WI; Janesville, WI; Lake Mills, WI; Kenosha, WI; Madison, WI; Muskego, WI; New London, WI; Reedsburg, WI; River Falls, WI; Superior, WI; Waterloo, WI; Whitehall, WI; Wisconsin Rapids, WI; and Summersville, WV.
The show's corresponding Web site, www.sharingmiracles.com, is an interactive forum for people to relate their own personal stories of hope and survival. Every patient's battle is unique, but the collective power of shared experiences can offer great help and courage to others who are fighting for their lives.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps uninsured and financially-struggling patients access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. To find out if they may qualify for help, patients should call toll-free 1-888-4PPA-NOW to speak with a trained specialist or visit www.pparx.org.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.
|SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America|
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