TAUNTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) -  In an effort to Stop Diabetes and the devastating effects of this disease in Massachusetts, nine-year-old Noah Brokmeier, a.k.a. The Diabetes Dude, of Taunton, Mass. has joined more than 200 diabetes advocates from across the country in Washington, D.C. for the American Diabetes Association's Call to Congress. Call to Congress is the Association's premier national advocacy effort being held March 9 - 11, 2011.

Call to Congress attendees include children and adults with diabetes, family members of individuals with diabetes, researchers and other healthcare professionals. All are committed to advocacy efforts at the local, state and national levels.

"I'm really excited to visit my country's capital and share with our representatives how important it is that they support diabetes research for kids like me," said Noah. "With my flamingo flock campaign, I am teaching other kids and their families about Type 1 diabetes empowering them to share their stories about good diabetes management. I manage mine with a tubeless insulin pump called the OmniPod." 

The Diabetes Dude is meeting with Members of Congress today to urge them to support federal funding levels for diabetes research and prevention programs. Of the nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes, more than 360,000 of them are residents of Massachusetts. The Diabetes Dude is also urging his Members of Congress to join the Congressional Diabetes Caucuses, which supports legislation that improves diabetes research, education and treatment. 

"Call to Congress brings Diabetes Advocates from across the country together in the movement to Stop Diabetes and provides them with the opportunity to tell the federal government how important it is to fight this deadly epidemic," said John Griffin, Jr., the Chair of the Board of the American Diabetes Association. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime unless our country changes it course."

Diabetes is a growing epidemic and is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country. The national price tag for diabetes is at an astounding $174 billion per year and that cost is estimated to almost triple in the next 25 years. Factoring in the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes brings the total diabetes-related cost to $218 billion.

For more information about Call to Congress, please visit www.diabetes.org/CallToCongress.

About The Diabetes Dude's Flamingo Flock Campaign
Noah Brokmeier's "Flamingo Flock" is a national diabetes awareness campaign symbolized by blue plastic flamingos. The Diabetes Dude's blue flamingos are shipped out upon request to residents in all fifty states with the goal of having them further spread the message by passing on the flamingos to their friends and family. Those who have been flocked send in their creative photos to be posted on The Diabetes Dude's website: www.thediabetesdude.com. The flamingos are the color blue because that is the color used by the International Diabetes Federation to represent global diabetes awareness and each flamingo has a name beginning with the letter "D" for "diabetes." Noah uses the OmniPod® Insulin Management System, the world's first tubing-free insulin pump, to help manage his Type 1 diabetes so he can educate thousands of people across the country. 

About The American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to stop diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

About the OmniPod Insulin Management System
The OmniPod System is the world's first tubing-free insulin pump. The OmniPod insulin pump offers people living with insulin-requiring diabetes all the benefits of insulin pump therapy, with freedom, comfort and ease. The OmniPod has just two components: the small, discreet, waterproof Pod that can be worn on many parts of the body to hold and deliver insulin; and the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager), a hand-held device that communicates wirelessly to program the Pod, calculates suggested doses and has a built-in FreeStyle® blood glucose meter. For more information, please visit: www.myomnipod.com

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Media Contact:
Erich Sandoval
Lazar Partners