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JDF Washington Report
Vol. I, No. 8, September 21, 1998

JDF Celebrity Spokesperson and Advocate Nicole Johnson Wins Miss America Title

As you have undoubtedly heard already, we are very pleased that Nicole Johnson, Miss Virginia 1998, won the Miss America 1999 title on September 19. Ms. Johnson has Type 1 diabetes and has worked with JDF Government Relations this year to advocate for increased diabetes research and a doubling of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget over the next five years. For pictures of Ms. Johnson’s Congressional visits with JDF see See below for JDF’s press release on the matter:

Monday September 21, 3:39 pm Eastern Time
Company Press Release
SOURCE: Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International
Miss America is Celebrity Spokesperson and Advocate for Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Miss America, Nicole Johnson, who was crowned on a platform of diabetes awareness, is a Celebrity Spokesperson and Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International (JDF). Miss America was diagnosed with Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, when she was 19 years old. ``We are so pleased to have Miss America on board as a Celebrity Spokesperson and Advocate for JDF,'' said Dr. James Mulvihill, President and CEO. ``With her national celebrity she will help us get the message out that diabetes is a serious and life-threatening disease, killing one American every three minutes.''

In August, when Miss America was still Miss Virginia, she volunteered for JDF on Capitol Hill by advocating for additional research funding to find a cure for diabetes. Miss America met with the Virginia Congressional delegation and pressed for a 15 percent increase in medical research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). She also asked the Virginia delegation to join the Congressional Diabetes Caucus.

``Young women like Nicole have so much to offer all of America's youth, not just people with Type 1 diabetes,'' said John J. McDonough, Chairman of the Board for JDF. ``I also have Type 1, as does my daughter, and I'm sure Miss America is as eager as we are to find a cure for the disease.'' Miss America wears an insulin pump 24 hours a day. It looks like a telephone pager and is connected to a tube that feeds insulin through a needle into her skin.

Insulin is not a cure for diabetes, but merely life support. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the autoimmune destruction of the beta cells (insulin-producing cells) of the pancreas and is usually, though not always, diagnosed in childhood. People with Type 1 must take insulin to live.

JDF is the world's leading nonprofit, nongovernmental funder of diabetes research. It was founded in 1970 by parents of children with diabetes. Its mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Visit our website at:

SOURCE: Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International

Send Your Letters to Congress Supporting Diabetes Research

There is still time left to send your letters to Congress in support of diabetes research, and we need each of you to write. Congress will be making final budgetary decisions over the next few weeks that will determine how much money is available for medical research at the NIH. See for further information and details.

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation - Government Relations
1400 I Street, NW #500
Washington, DC 20005
1-800-JDF-1VOTE ex. 5 (800-533-1868)

Posted 27 September 1998

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