When I'm not on the basketball court, I like to focus my time on important causes and helping my community. As a WNBA player and a person with a family history of diabetes, I understand the importance of living an active lifestyle. And as a Dribble to Stop Diabetes program ambassador, I am encouraging fans to be more active and to understand their risk for developing type 2 diabetes or living with type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes is marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. There are two main types of diabetes -- type 1 and type 2. The facts about diabetes are alarming. It is estimated that nearly 26 million Americans have the disease, including an estimated 7 million who remain undiagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Almost every 20 seconds -- the length of a timeout in a basketball game -- someone in the United States is diagnosed with the disease. That's why driving awareness through the Dribble to Stop Diabetes program is so essential.
The National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA Development League, in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association and Sanofi US, launched Dribble to Stop Diabetes, a national multimedia campaign designed to encourage fans to live an active, healthy lifestyle and raise awareness about type 2 diabetes prevention, management and the potentially serious health complications that can be associated with the disease. As a campaign ambassador, I am involved in several Dribble to Stop Diabetes initiatives such as a nationally distributed public service announcement and the campaign website.
I mentioned before that I have a family history of diabetes. My grandparents on my dad's side had a history of the disease and my maternal grandfather had diabetes as well.
It's important to know your risk for type 2 diabetes and, if you are at risk, talk to your doctor and get tested. Visit www.dribbletostopdiabetes.com for more information and to take the risk assessment.
I'm proud to work with the WNBA, Sanofi US and the American Diabetes Association to educate people about their risk for developing type 2 diabetes and to inform the community on how to prevent this disease. It's all about teamwork, so let's work together to spread information and educate about diabetes prevention.
Follow Alana Beard on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Alanabeard20