To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all those affected by diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association was founded by 28 physicians in 1940 - not even 20 years after the discovery of insulin changed diabetes from a fatal diagnosis to a manageable disease.
Initially the Association was exclusively a medical association for physicians, research scientists and health care professionals. At its first meeting, the Association's president, Cecil Striker, MD, stated, "The patient suffering from the syndrome of diabetes mellitus is the reason for the existence of this Association. His medical, social, and economic problems are our problems."
Through the 1940s and 1950s it was during these annual meetings that the medical community learned more about diabetes, its genetic and environmental factors, its related complications, and new types of insulin and other treatment options for their patients.
By 1960 the Association's Committee on Statistics estimated 1.25 million known cases of diabetes, with 72,000 cases diagnosed that year.
Diabetes Forecast Hits the Presses:
In addition to providing forums for the medical community's growth and development, the American Diabetes Association also made strides in public health and awareness.
Diabetes Forecast, the Association's consumer magazine, was first published (under the name ADA Forecast) in 1948; by 1958 recordings of the magazine were made available to the visually impaired free of charge.
Local offices began sponsoring summer camps for children with diabetes in 1948 - a program that is now the largest provider of diabetes camps in the world.
It was also in 1948 that the first National Diabetes Week was observed, evolving into American Diabetes Month, which continues to be observed every November.
The 1960s set the stage for many changes in the American Diabetes Association:
Donations were focused more strategically on research funding.
The Association took an active role in encouraging insurance coverage and equal employment for people with diabetes.
Local offices and volunteers expanded education and awareness programs to the public.
Stepping Up Our Special Events:
In 1970 the Association moved to recognize its strong and dedicated volunteer corps, finally becoming a voluntary health organization with general membership in addition to its long-standing professional membership.
After this had been established, local Association affiliates began to hold special events for fundraising, similar to today's national Tour de Cure events. It was also in the 1970s that the Association began to build its voice in legislative advocacy.
Through the 1980s, the Association continued to grow its presence on Capitol Hill while also broadening its reach in the medical community, with programs for primary care physicians and allied health professionals.
In 1993 the Association established its first information phone lines, supported by state affiliates. Known today as the Center for Information and Community Support (at 1-800-DIABETES), this service is staffed with highly-trained, dedicated personnel who can provide diabetes information in English and Spanish.
American Diabetes Association Research Foundation was created in 1994 to accelerate the Association's ability to raise major gifts to directly fund diabetes research. The Research Foundation works to match a donor's interests and dollars with cutting-edge diabetes research projects through a peer review process.
The Association made its debut online at diabetes.org in 1996.
For years, the Association was comprised of more than 50 affiliate organizations that were individually incorporated with their own governance structures. To streamline its operations and provide more consistent services to its constituents, the Association became one nationwide organization in 1998.
Now nearly 100 local offices work in collaboration as the American Diabetes Association and conduct multiple initiatives to fulfill the mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimate that there are 29.1 million Americans living with diabetes and another 86 million living with prediabetes.
The Association works to meet the needs and concerns facing these growing numbers and educate the health care professionals treating them while collaborating with researchers who strive to improve treatment and, one day, find a cure.
In 2009 the Association conducted research about diabetes awareness and understanding in the United States and found that most Americans were under-informed or misinformed about diabetes - despite the fact that the disease had grown to epidemic proportions.
In response, the Association launched a national movement to Stop Diabetes® - with the audacious goal of gathering the support of 1 million Americans each year to help confront, fight and most importantly, stop diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association (Association) is the global authority on diabetes and since 1940 has been committed to its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To tackle this global public health crisis, the Association drives discovery in research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and provides support and advocacy for people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes and the health care professionals who serve them.
"My name is Emily Lundquist, and I am 15 years old. I was diagnosed with Type1 Diabetes on June 7th, 2009, at the age of 11. It was a lot to take in, but my doctors were surprised at how quickly I caught on! About a year later, I got my very first insulin pump. Everything was so much easier after that! That very same year I went to Camp Colorado for the first time. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I had, or how much I learned about my diabetes. I've gone back twice since then, and this past year I was in Excursions (Teen Camp). It was by far the best year yet! I made a ton of new friends, learned even more (and I thought I knew it all already!), and got to try some very exciting new things. I am a very adventurous person, so the high ropes course, white water rafting, rock climbing, and tunneling made Camp more fun then I had though possible! Excursions was right up my alley, and I can't wait to go back! Diabetes doesn't hold me back. I love to play soccer, try new and crazy things, run, read, play with my siblings, and teach them about what's going on inside of me. Recently, I even got to leave the country for a missions trip in the Dominican Republic! When I was diagnosed, people told me that I wouldn't be able to do things that "normal" people could do. They were so wrong! I may be different, but I'm still a normal girl who loves to live. Diabetes Camp is a time where I get to live my life at it's fullest, and prove to the non-believers that I'm still me! So thank you. Thank you for your donations and support that make Camp Colorado a possibility. I'm not the only one who appreciates it"
"Dear Camp CO, ADA: Thank you, thank you, thank you for the scholarship to go to the ADA Camp. I had a BLASSST! I did the Blob, Vomitron, GaGa Ball, Summit, Waterslide, the Maxiumus, Crazy Night, Red Night, Banquet Night, and so much moore!
"I wish I could be saying thank you in person right now. Without that scholarship, I would have felt very different from everyone else.
"At Camp, my favorite activity was the Blob, because you don't even know when you're going to go in the air or how high you will go. So it was like a surprise.
"I made 5 friends named Baily, Maria, Sara, Autumn, Cater, Brynnan. Thank you again."
"Dear ADA Scholarship Givers,
"Words cannot express our gratitude in your help and gift of the scholarship you gave for our daughter, Abigail, to attend Camp Colorado! She had an amazing experience and hopes to return. We look forward to future events with the ADA."
-Daniel & Summer Fernihough
"My daughter had such an amazing time. She left Camp Colorado with new information, confidence and the ability to give us input on managing her diabetes. It is truly fun to watch the changes Camp Colorado has instilled in her. Thank you for that and all you do."
Tour de Cure Colorado
"Thank you for all you did to make the tour successful. We had the best time! At the start line Kaden said to his sister he didn't feel so alone with his disease. :)."
"Five years ago I awoke to a frightening and dark place after being diagnosed with diabetes; a loss of almost 40 pounds; and being in intensive care for three days. My initial journey was lonely and lacked community. The Tour awoke me to a shared sense of empowerment and strength. And your commitment is such a huge part of that experience. Thank you for giving myself and everyone at ECC the opportunity to love, share, grow, and learn. These are the greatest joys that one can give to another."