To the editor:
New statistics show an alarming 23 percent increase in type 1 diabetes among American youths between 2001 and 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. At that rate, the disease would double for every future generation. My son at the age of 10 was diagnosed and among those counted in that statistic. Curiously we had no family history and were completely blindsided by this diagnosis. Joining with many other Iowa families with a child with type 1, we need to continue to support research that will reverse this trend, improve quality of life for those living with type 1 diabetes and perhaps a cure someday.
I can always count on Rep. Tom Latham for his support of diabetes research in Congress. In addition to meeting with me personally in Ames, he was one of the 272 members in the House to sign on in support for the Special Diabetes Program. SDP is a program that is seeing a real return on investment of taxpayer dollars - the outcomes of research will have the potential both to save lives and future costs to our healthcare system. SDP has funded breakthrough research over the last 10 years bringing children and adults better treatments, technologies and therapies to improve their quality of life, and also to reduce the dangerous complications caused by difficult-to-control blood sugar levels. Notably for technologies, Rep. Latham was also supportive of advancing the artificial pancreas technology at the FDA - a positive outcome of the Special Diabetes Program.
Rep. Latham, thank you for your strong commitment to my son and all those with type 1 diabetes. Your support for the SDP will help reduce the number of children who will have to face it in years to come.