Today may be the last day of National Diabetes Awareness Month, but “Awkward.” star Jillian Rose Reed wants to spread awareness year-round. Join her, and you may just end up winning one of her red carpet dresses!
As a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) of Los Angeles, Jillian is determined to get more people talking and caring about the disease that affects 25.8 million people in the U.S. alone — including her big brother. We recently spoke to Jillian about her work with the ADA, and her amazing MTV Movie Award dress that you can enter a charity drawing to win!
MTV ACT: When, how, and why did you get involved with the American Diabetes Association Los Angeles?
JILLIAN ROSE REED: A little over 10 years ago, when my older brother turned 18, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. My family and I have been involved with the ADA ever since. Most recently, I helped the ADA LA chapter fundraise and raise awareness!
ACT: What is it like to grow up with a family member with diabetes?
JILLIAN: It was hard. I was scared for Matt when I was younger. I would worry about what he was eating or how he was feeling. I was scared every time he got sick. It was tough on the whole family. Luckily now he’s living a healthy lifestyle.
ACT: November is Diabetes Awareness Month — what exactly do you think young Americans need to be aware of?
JILLIAN: I’m all about young people getting involved. I think everyone needs to know that they are more than able to help! Even if you can’t donate to the ADA, we would absolutely love to have more young people involved in the walks or other ADA events!
ACT: What are some myths about diabetes that you’d like to dispel, or facts about diabetes that you’d like to share?
JILLIAN: I’ve heard some weird ones! Diabetes isn’t contagious…you’re not going to get diabetes if a diabetic sneezes on you!
ACT: Diabetes kills more Americans each year than AIDS and breast cancer combined. Why do you think many people don’t take it as seriously as other illnesses?
JILLIAN: I think people are mostly just uneducated. People think you’re born with diabetes or that it’s just genetic. YES, diabetes IS genetic, but Type 2 diabetes can be developed. That’s why I try and raise awareness about healthy living, so that less people develop diabetes.
ACT: You’re giving one of your dresses away for charity! Can you tell us about the dress and how people can enter the drawing?
JILLIAN: YES! I’m SO excited about this! My amazing team and I came up with the idea to give the dress I wore to the 2012 MTV Movie Awards away for charity. It’s a beautiful BCBGeneration dress that happens to be one of my favorites, so I can’t wait to give it to someone special. To enter the drawing, all you have to do is make an online donation through my fundraising page on the ADA website. On the right of the page there’s a little sentence that says “to make a general donation to the team that will not count toward any individual, click here.” So click there! You can donate as much as you want, but $5 gets you one entry, so if you donate $25 then you have 5 opportunities to win! Simple as that!
Take action below to learn more about diabetes, or to enter the drawing to win Jillian’s fab dress!
Learn more about how to prevent diabetes with the ADA.