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American Diabetes Association Announces Basma Abdellaoui as the 2014 National Youth Advocate

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- (Marketwired) -- 01/10/14 -- The American Diabetes Association (Association) is pleased to announce Basma Abdellaoui, 16, as the Association's 2014 National Youth Advocate. Diagnosed at the age of three, Basma, of San Diego, CA, has been living with type 1 diabetes for nearly all her life. As the National Youth Advocate, she will focus on promoting the Association's advocacy initiatives, and encouraging children and adults to become involved in the fight to Stop Diabetes®.

Basma has been actively involved with the American Diabetes Association since the age of five, when she first attended the Association's Camp Wana Kura, a camp for children with diabetes where she now works as a teen staff member. In addition to her dedication to care for and educate children with diabetes at camp, Basma continues to be actively involved with the Association through her local office and local events. As an avid advocate and fundraiser, she has shared her personal diabetes story and her passion to find a cure at many of the Association's signature events, including San Diego's Tour de Cure® kickoff event, the Father of the Year Awards and Step Out®: Walk to Stop Diabetes®.

In her role as the National Youth Advocate, Basma will continue to participate in important speaking engagements and advocacy efforts. She will travel the country to speak about the Association's Safe at School campaign, helping to ensure that all children with diabetes are medically safe at school.

"Basma serves as an inspiration to all people living with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association is pleased to welcome her, as she joins us as our 2014 National Youth Advocate," said Dwight Holing, Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association. "Basma's commitment to the fight to Stop Diabetes shines through in her dedication to educating and spreading awareness about the disease. Throughout the year, her leadership as the National Youth Advocate will play a vital role in advancing the Association's legislative and regulatory priorities, placing a focus on our efforts to keep all children with diabetes safe at school."

Basma, a junior at La Jolla High School, is the youngest member of the Camp Wana Kura planning committee, volunteering her time and expertise in planning the most successful diabetes camp possible. In addition to her extensive diabetes volunteer efforts, she is also involved with the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, participates in her school's American Red Cross club, and initiated her own club at school to raise awareness about cancer and how others can get involved to help in the cause.

"Since my diagnosis with diabetes, my path has crossed with many influential and inspiring people who have shaped my journey. Since day one, my family, friends, doctors and the American Diabetes Association, have had such a huge influence on me," said Basma. "I am beyond delighted to take my journey further to a national level as the 2014 National Youth Advocate, and inspire others to become a bigger part of making a difference for people with diabetes across the nation."

To learn more about Basma Abdellaoui and the Association's advocacy efforts, please visit http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy/news-events/national-youth-advocate/.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org.

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Susan McCarthy
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