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BIRMINGHAM (Nov. 19, 2012) – A specialty car tag that will help fund diabetes research and care for patients at Children’s of Alabama is now available for pre-purchase through the Alabama Department of Revenue.

The Hope for Kids with Diabetes tag will be produced once the state of Alabama receives 1,000 commitments for purchase before Oct. 31, 2013. The specialty tag will cost $50, with $41.25 from each purchase directly benefiting pediatric endocrinology at Children’s of Alabama. Proceeds will help fund patient care, physician training and research for the thousands of young Alabamians growing up with diabetes.

To commit to purchasing a Hope for Kids with Diabetes car tag, applicants must complete an “Commitment to Purchase” form with the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles. Tags may be personalized at no extra charge.

“By purchasing the Hope for Kids with Diabetes tag, Alabama drivers will not only help raise much-needed funds, but will also increase awareness of this growing health concern,” said Dr. Kenneth McCormick, director of pediatric endocrinology at Children’s. “Every tag is like a small billboard promoting the need to help these youngsters who must deal with a serious chronic illness every day of their lives.

Diabetes is a chronic disease of high blood glucose or “blood sugar” that results from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin or its abnormal response to insulin. Type 1 diabetes most commonly affects children and requires insulin injections because the pancreas is not able to produce its own insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the body is resistant to insulin and cannot regulate blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity, genetics, a sedentary lifestyle and other factors. It is being diagnosed at an increasing rate as a result of the childhood obesity epidemic. Both types of diabetes are treated with smart nutrition choices, glucose monitoring, oral medications and insulin injections.

More than 2,600 youngsters are currently in treatment for diabetes in the pediatric endocrinology division at Children’s of Alabama, including about 1,700 with Type 1. Their care is coordinated through a comprehensive multi-disciplinary team that includes pediatric endocrinologists, specialized nurses, diabetes educators, dietitians, insulin pump specialists and social workers.

Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children since 1911, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Last year, families made more than 634,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 47 other states. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. and has been ranked among the top children’s hospital programs in the country for the past three years by U.S. News & World Report. More information is available at