Jan 18, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Kris Freeman, 25, of Andover, N.H., was named to the U.S. Olympic Ski Team. Earlier this month, Freeman re-affirmed his status as the number-one cross-country skier in the country after adding two more titles to his resume. Freeman won the 15- kilometer classic and 30-kilometer pursuit events at the U.S. Cross-Country Championships held in Soldier Hollow, UT. With these accomplishments, Freeman, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in September 2000, proves again that people with diabetes can lead full and active lifestyles.
When Freeman was first diagnosed with diabetes, he thought his skiing days and dreams of an Olympic medal were over. However, through diligent diabetes management, Freeman gained control of his disease and is now poised to be the first American since 1976 to medal in cross-country skiing -- a sport typically dominated by Scandinavian and Central European athletes.
As part of his commitment to helping others who have diabetes, Freeman serves as the ambassador of Eli Lilly and Company's (Lilly) LillyforLife(TM) program, which celebrates the inspiring achievements of people of all ages who live with diabetes. In 2001, Freeman became a spokesperson for Lilly, the maker of the insulin he takes to control his diabetes.
"We are thrilled that Kris continues to achieve such excellence, and we all hope the best for him in the upcoming Olympics," said Ron Hoven, diabetes care marketing director, Eli Lilly and Company. "He is a shining example of how people with diabetes can lead very normal, and in this case, exceptional lives."
Diabetes is a progressive disease with no cure, but Freeman knows it does not mean the end of his career. With the help of this health care team, he manages a grueling training regimen while keeping his diabetes under control. He checks his blood sugar up to 10 times each day while training, injects himself with insulin up to 10 times each day and consumes up to 5,000 carefully planned calories to keep his blood sugar moderated.
"I know firsthand that diabetes does not have to hold you back," Freeman said. "By proactively managing my diabetes with insulin, eating healthy, and exercising, I am able to continue my pursuit of a gold medal."
Between trainings and competitions, Freeman continues to travel the country with Lilly to educate others and inspire them to take charge of their diabetes. For more information about Kris Freeman and the LillyforLife program, visit www.lillyforlife.com .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects nearly 21 million Americans and of that, nearly one-third, or approximately 6 million people, do not know they have the disease. Roughly 5 percent to 10 percent of those with diabetes have type 1, a condition where the body does not produce insulin. Diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death by disease and costs approximately $132 billion per year in direct and indirect medical expenses. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.
About Lilly Diabetes
Through a long-standing commitment to diabetes care, Lilly provides patients with breakthrough treatments that enable them to live longer, healthier and fuller lives. Since 1923, Lilly has been the industry leader in pioneering therapies to help health care professionals improve the lives of people with diabetes, and research continues on innovative medicines to address the unmet needs of patients. For more information about Lilly's current diabetes products, visit www.lillydiabetes.com .
About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers -- through medicines and information -- for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com . O-LLY
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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
Jamaison Schuler of Eli Lilly and Company, +1-317-655-2111, pager: +1-877-501-5306
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