Award-winning comedian and actor, Cedric “The Entertainer,” is getting serious as part of a new program – Step On Up™ – which aims to educate people, including the more than 29 million Americans living with diabetes about painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or diabetic nerve pain, a common complication of the disease. The program, which was developed as a collaboration between the American Diabetes Association and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), encourages people with diabetes who have burning, shooting pain in their feet or hands to talk with their health care provider about their symptoms and seek some pain relief. One in five people with diabetes suffers from diabetic nerve pain, including Cedric’s father, but many don’t discuss their painful symptoms with their health care provider.
“Like a lot of people living with diabetes, my dad didn’t want to talk about the burning pain he was feeling in his feet and hands. I knew something was wrong when it limited the things he loved to do, like gardening, long drives and visiting our family,” said Cedric. “Step On Up aims to educate people with diabetes who have this pain, and empower them to talk with their doctor about how it’s impacting family time, work or making their diabetes difficult to manage.”
Timed to American Diabetes Month, the program brings Cedric and his personal connection with diabetic nerve pain to the forefront in a national Public Service Announcement. He is urging people with diabetes who have burning pain in their feet or hands to visit StepOnUp.com – an educational website for people with diabetes who want to learn about these symptoms and take a Diabetic Nerve Pain Assessment.
“American Diabetes Month is the perfect time to call attention to painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a common type of nerve damage in people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association is pleased to join Pfizer and Cedric ‘The Entertainer’ to help spread the word about this condition through Step On Up,” said Marjorie Cypress, PhD, CNP, CDE, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. “This program will help provide resources for people living with diabetes to learn more about diabetic nerve pain, assess their symptoms and encourage them to talk with their health care provider about steps they can take to better manage their pain.”
In the United States (U.S.), diabetic nerve pain impacts Black adults with diabetes more severely than others within the general population, based on an analysis conducted by Pfizer of an electronic medical records database. In fact, one third of those living with the condition over the age of 40 are Black or Hispanic. As part of Step On Up, Cedric is reaching out to all people who are living with the condition and trying to manage it alone, as well as individuals who are undiagnosed and may not have yet connected the pain with their diabetes or may fear what the pain means. Cedric is asking these people to ‘step on up,’ talk with their health care provider about their symptoms and stop suffering in silence.
“Diabetes affects U.S. minority populations at higher rates, and complications of the disease too often go undiagnosed and untreated,” explained Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D., Pfizer’s Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “Pfizer is pleased to work with the American Diabetes Association on the Step On Up program to help spread the message to affected communities that complications such as diabetic nerve pain need not be suffered in silence.”
Later this month, Cedric will participate in the American Diabetes Association’s “I Decide” to Stop Diabetes Day in Chicago, Illinois. He will also attend the Association’s Diabetes EXPO in Atlanta, Georgia to talk with people affected by diabetes about diabetic nerve pain and how to get a diagnosis and start on the path toward some pain relief.