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The American Diabetes Association Expands Commitment to Youth With Type 1 Diabetes

Tesch West, ADA's National Youth Advocate, emphasizes the critical need for

support and resources ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ November is American Diabetes Month(R) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is recognizing "The Many Faces of Diabetes" by teaming up with their newly selected National Youth Advocate, Tesch West of Utah, and calling attention to the critical needs of youth with type 1 diabetes.

For many years, the ADA has helped families and health care providers manage type 1 diabetes through resources and local programs including ADA's Diabetes Camps and Family Resource Networks. Now the ADA expands its commitment to these families by weaving all of its programs and resources for type 1 youth under a new umbrella: Planet D - Explore. Discover. Connect. Through Planet D, youth with type 1 diabetes will explore and discover new possibilities about themselves and their diabetes while connecting with other children like them.

"The first place kids with type 1 diabetes will experience Planet D is online at," said Tesch West, National Youth Advocate for the ADA. "This is so exciting for kids with type 1 and will help them gain access to information and get support by talking with other kids who are dealing with the same issues."

The Planet D Web site provides a completely safe and secure online environment for youth to leverage diabetes management tools, learn about issues affecting people with diabetes, build personal D-identities and interact with other youth through a variety of social networking opportunities including message boards, personal sharing and online polls. In the coming months, corresponding pages will be added for parents, educators, ADA Family Resource Network members, and Diabetes Camp attendees as well as additional programs and resources for children affected by type 1 diabetes that are part of the Planet D initiative.

"One of my biggest priorities as the National Youth Advocate for ADA is to highlight the importance of education," said West. "Now, through Planet D, the ADA is doing just that and giving kids with diabetes the opportunity to connect with each other."

West was diagnosed with type 1 at the age 10 and has been an active volunteer with ADA's events and programs for many years. Now as the National Youth Advocate for the American Diabetes Association, West will generate awareness of the seriousness of diabetes, and discuss ADA's efforts to increase funding for diabetes research to protect people with diabetes against discrimination in school and in the workplace, and to make sure everyone with diabetes has access to affordable, quality health care. Tesch will also be traveling around the country speaking with children and adults alike about the importance of getting involved with the ADA.

For more information on type 1 diabetes or the Planet D initiative, please visit

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and accounts for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose), starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

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 800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

SOURCE American Diabetes Association
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