Image: Alana Beard
Ned Dishman  /  NBAE via Getty Images
Alana Beard of the Washington Mystics poses for a photo as part of the NBA Nation Tour on June 25 in Washington.
NBC News
updated 11/9/2011 5:19:45 PM ET 2011-11-09T22:19:45

Cause Celeb highlights a celebrity’s work on behalf of a specific cause. This week, we speak with WNBA star Alana Beard of the Washington Mystiques about her involvement with Dribble to Stop Diabetes.

Dribble to Stop Diabetes is a partnership between the NBA, WNBA, NBA Development League, the American Diabetes Association and Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Its goal is to bring awareness to the diabetes and show how a healthy lifestyle can prevent the disease. 

Interview by Richard Dally III

Q: Could you tell us a bit about your program and what you’re doing to help?

Beard: Dribble to Stop Diabetes is a national multimedia campaign that’s been developed by the NBA, WNBA and the NBA Development League. It is in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association to encourage basketball fans to live an active and healthy lifestyle and to raise awareness of diabetes prevention.

Q: What was it that made you want to get involved with Dribble?

Beard: I was approached in January or February about this initiative and I like to be connected in some way with anything I’m involved in. So when they asked me if I wanted to be an ambassador I didn’t give an answer right away. I wanted to figure out my family history. I ended up calling my mom and dad to figure out our history of diabetes in our family. Come to find out my grandfather actually had Type 2 diabetes and my grandmother had the traits.

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So it’s something that I wanted to become more involved in and to learn more about. Just to make people more aware of it because if you don’t know, you don’t know how to handle it. If you don’t have that information, you will never know what you need to do if any of this occurs.

Q: For people that may be unaware, if they think they may have diabetes what should they do?

Beard: That’s the whole vision behind this campaign. The one thing I can tell them to do is to go to DribbletoStopDiabetes.com and they can find out so much information on there. They can even take a risk assessment. But I think the number one thing that they could do is to consult their doctor.

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Q: For people living with diabetes, how can they incorporate healthy habits into their lifestyle?

Beard: First, consult your doctor. Secondly, it has to be a lifestyle, it has to be something that you’re willing and wanting to change, getting up every day and making it a priority to want to eat healthy to become more active than what you are.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Beard: I would just say go to DribbletoStopDiabetes.com and to become more aware and help us get the word out, because I think this is an issue that everyone should know the risks.   

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