Patti LaBelle, who has suffered from diabetes for over 25 years, is speaking to Congress on Thursday in conjunction with National Diabetes Awareness Month to advocate for better access to care for people with Type 2 diabetes.
"Diabetes is often invisible to everyone except those living with it, so we need to make it visible and help people access the care and technology they deserve," the "On My Own" singer says in a statement.
LaBelle is joining the Diabetes Leadership Council for a virtual event that will convene policymakers, advocates and healthcare professionals to explore how disparities in diabetes caregiving and technology access impact vulnerable communities, especially in communities of color.
In an Instagram video, the 77-year-old icon revealed she discovered she had diabetes after falling during a concert in the 1990s in Albany, New York. "The stage was moving around, so I passed out, but I thought was I dizzy," Patti recalls. "I was rushed to the hospital and the doctor came and said you're type 2 diabetic."
For those who try to hide the illness, the two-time Grammy winner says, "My advice to those who are shamed of saying they're diabetic is that you're crazy. Say it and live with it and smile. I have diabetes, but diabetes does not have me."
The "Diabetes Technology: Disparities, Access, Equity" event with Congress, featuring Patti, can be viewed this Thursday, November 4, at 12 p.m ET/ 90 a.m. PT, on The Hill website.
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