What We Do


Research Program

Dr. Hwyda Arafat

Dr. Hwyda Arafat

Diabetes Action has provided grants to over 300 separate research studies at universities and medical institutions across the United States.  In addition to funding basic research to cure diabetes with gene therapies and beta cell transplantation, Diabetes Action funds research that examines how nutritional and complementary therapies may prevent and treat diabetes. Diabetes Action has funded innovative studies that include: 

Cure of type 1 diabetes using a generic drug
Dr. Faustman, Massachusetts General Hospital

Cinnamon and chromium antioxidant studies
USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center

Wheat Gluten as a Trigger in type 1 Diabetes
Virginia Tech

Antioxidants to improve islet cell graft function

T cell vaccination to prevent type 1 diabetes
Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Antioxidants to prevent diabetic complications
University of California, San Francisco

B vitamins to treat hyperhomocysteinemia
University of California, Davis

Nutritional approaches to improve beta cell function
Joslin Diabetes Center

Acupuncture for treating neuropathy
Harvard Medical School

Chromium with Metformin Study
Bastyr/Washington State University

Lower Carbohydrate Diet
Thomas Jefferson University


Send a Kid to Diabetes Camp

In 2016 Diabetes Action increased our support of summer camp for children with diabetes to 58 separate camp programs in all 50 states. While it is always heartwarming to get personal letters from campers who are grateful for the opportunity to attend camp because of our financial aid, it is especially wonderful to receive letters from camp counselors who had once benefitted from camp themselves at a younger age. As one counselor wrote, after 15 years of seeing countless lives changed for children who learned to live a better life with diabetes, camp had “given her the inspiration to pursue a career in medicine and endocrinology and to come back to camp and give back as a camp physician”.

At Camp Endres in Oklahoma, comments from parents express how much camp means, not only to the children, but also their parents. One mother wrote “my daughter used to complain a lot, ‘Shy me? Why do I have to be the one with diabetes?’ Now after going to Camp Endres, she says, ‘Oh, its just diabetes. I got this’- What a difference I have seen in her”. And one dad remarked, “It is great these kids have a camp they can go to have fun and not be ‘that kid with diabetes’. Thank you for giving them a safe place to go and have fun”.


Education Program - Diabetes University©

Diabetes Action hosts the annual Diabetes University©, a free informational program for the public that highlights complementary, alternative, and nutritional research and treatments for diabetes.

Topics have included "Cinnamon Improves Risk Factors for Diabetes", "Current Management of Diabetes", "The Anti-Inflammatory Diet", "Essential Herbs for Diabetes", and "Complementary Medicine in Diabetes".


American Indian Diabetes Prevention Program

Cheyenne River Youth Project Garden

Cheyenne River Youth Project Garden

Since our inception in 1990, one of Diabetes Action’s highest priorities has been to support health improvement for the American Indian population that has been so severely impacted by the diabetes epidemic.

Our partnership with the Cheyenne River Youth Project continues to help make it possible for families living in one of the highest poverty areas in the country look forward to a brighter future. On the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, funding from Diabetes Action’s American Indian Diabetes Prevention Program supports the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Native Wellness Program, which featured a new spring group of teen wellness interns in 2016. This group spent a month focusing on how to nurture healthy minds and bodies. This was just one component of CYRP’s ongoing holistic wellness initiatives, which incorporates physical fitness, nutrition, diabetes prevention, healthy lifestyle choices and Lakota Sioux values and traditions. Many of these teens have enrolled in the summer Sustainable Agriculture Internship Program which began with 11 students in 2013. The incredible success of this program inspired so many teens that the graduating class of 2016 increased to 44 teens. By gaining valuable job and life skills, these teens are able to pursue their dreams for college, vocational skill, employment, or even entrepreneurship after high school.

In June, 2016 the teen interns and community members of the Cheyenne River Reservation welcomed a famous Lakota Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman, who provided a cooking class focused on traditional native foods, including bison, and healthful preparation techniques. Efforts to provide healthy food for the Cheyenne River Community starts with the Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) garden, which has grown from the original 40x60 plot to a two-acre micro-farm operation. Working on this garden has interested many children to become gardeners and farmers. In addition, benefits of these wellness programs extend to teaching families healthier eating habits while creating many physical activities for the children, which not only keeps the children healthy but has also reduced juvenile crime on the Cheyenne Reservation.


International Relief

On April 16, 2016, the resort city of Pedernales on Ecuador’s long Pacific Coast was completely destroyed after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Diabetes Action participated in a massive shipment of medical supplies that was coordinated with doctors at Baylor University where free shipping was negotiated with United Airlines. Our supplies of over $1.5 million were included with donations from other American institutions including Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Stanford University, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Henry Ford Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Jose Ignacio Suarez, Professor of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine, not only helped organize the collection of all the medical supplies in the U.S., but also travelled to Ecuador to facilitate the delivery of the supplies with Dr. Nelson Maldonado, Neurointensivist at Eugenio Hospital in Quito, Ecuador where many of the survivors were treated. The Hospital Eugenio Espejo is the premier National Hospital of Ecuador and the epicenter for the Ecuadorian National Health policy and medical education.

In 2016 Diabetes Action also shipped over $60,000 of supplies requested by Operation Ukraine to assist with the delivery of medical care to civilians who are still affected by the ongoing civil war in eastern Ukraine.