pig

Kissing a Pig for Diabetes Research

Categories: Fundraising, Lifestyle

Why would you ever kiss a pig? Pigs tend to role in mud and eat anything, so would they be the cleanest creatures? To all those who agree with this, just remember that thousands of people owe their lives to these intelligent creatures, especially early diabetes patients!

In the early days of diabetes, from the early 1920’s to the 1970’s, the only way to treat diabetes was to inject animal insulin! If not for the concern of allergic reactions to animals and well founded worries about the growing number of diabetes patients, animals like pigs and cows would still be used.

The first success in the synthesis of insulin was accomplished in the 1960s, however the process was not efficient enough to produce commercially. The rise of genetic engineering in the 1970’s gave way to the creation of human insulin, exactly replicated with first E. coli and now yeast.

That’s why the American Diabetes Association holds the Kiss-A-Pig Campaigns all over the US! Every year cities like Roger, Arkansas, which has been held for 13 years, and Savannah, Georgia, which has been held for 22 years, hold events like galas, dinners, or other events to raise money for diabetes.

Business leaders from around town spend the three months before the event raising money for diabetes, and the top two fundraisers get to “Kiss a Pig” when the event comes around. Businesses have raised as much as $70,000!

These events have excellent sponsors at their back, including Abbott Nutrition, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer. Sponsors also included Audi, Jaguar, and Porsche. Entertainment for the Gala this year in Rogers, Arkansas, is actually the band The Wallflowers, displaying how much support there is for diabetes research.

The 22nd Annual campaign in Savannah, Georgia last year chose the theme of InstaHam, utilizing the latest tools and technology to expand the campaign awareness and spread the word about diabetes.

So if you ever get a chance to kiss a pig, remember their contribution to medicine and the lives of thousands of diabetes patients, and make sure the pig is clean!

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