Mashantuckets Give $40K to Help Stop Diabetes

Gale Courey Toensing

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has donated $40,000 to local organizations to help fight diabetes.

At an event March 20 in the clubhouse of its award-winning Lakes of Isles golf course, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (MPTN) Chairman Rodney Butler and tribal member Richard E. Sebastian presented a check for $20,000 to the state chapter of the American Diabetes Association and the Joslin Diabetes Center, an internationally recognized diabetes treatment, research and education institution founded more than 100 years ago, and another $20,000 check to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, Connecticut. The hospital is an affiliate of the Joslin Center. Chris Boynton, executive director of at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital  and William Stanley, Vice President of Development & Community Relations at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital received the donations.

This is the fifth year that proceeds have been donated to the American Diabetes Association and the fourth year to the Joslin Diabetes Center.

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The $40,000 was raised during the Nation’s 8th Annual “Drive for Diabetes” Golf Tournament, which took place a he Lake of Isles last September. Butler and Sebastian are founders and co-chairs of the event. This is the fifth year that proceeds have been donated to the American Diabetes Association and the fourth year to the Joslin Diabetes Center. The tournament so far has raised approximately $600,000 to support diabetes and healthy living programs. And the Nation will continue to help the fight against diabetes Butler said in a statement.

“The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is proud to continue to support the American Diabetes Association and Joslin Diabetes Center in our efforts to raise awareness and educate the general public about diabetes and the affect it has on many Americans,” Butler said. “Diabetes is a disease that affects Native Americans at a rate twice that of any other ethnicity. The proceeds from this event will help establish programs, educate people on healthy living, and provide educational material.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects 25.8 million people or 8.3 percent of the U.S Population with the highest rates—nearly 17 percent—found among American Indians and Alaska Natives with 95 percent having  type 2 diabetes (as opposed to type 1 diabetes). American Indians and Alaska Natives are almost two-and-a-half times more likely to have diabetes compared with non-Hispanic whites. There has been a 68 percent increase in diabetes from 1994 to 2004 in American Indian and Alaska Native youth aged 15-19 years.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

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