The M.L. Carr Story: Celtics Legend Fights to Cure Diabetes

BOSTON (April 14, 2009) - ML Carr and Ray Allen have much more in common than their membership in the coveted Celtics Green. They both have to face the number one disease among African Americans: diabetes. Allen's son, Walker, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes ("juvenile diabetes") in January of 2008, right before game five of the NBA championships. ML was diagnosed recently with type 2 diabetes ("adult-onset diabetes").

Now the two sports greats are both raising awareness and funds for Joslin Diabetes Clinic. Ray Allen's whole family is involved in this campaign. And ML Carr is raising awareness and funds through an innovative marketing/fundraising venture focused on a skin care product that is considered highly effective for diabetes patients.

"When first diagnosed," says ML, "I was very private about this condition. But once I learned about the prevalence of this condition in the African-American community, I wanted to contribute to the awareness of the condition and the prevention of complications." Now ML is also involved in raising funds that could some day lead to a cure.

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to process sugar correctly. It is one of the most serious health challenges facing African Americans, affecting 15 percent of the overall population and 25 percent of the older population. Diabetes can be a dangerous (even life-threatening) condition, especially if people don't take proper care of themselves. That includes foot care. Every year, more than 80,000 diabetics lose a foot or leg to the disease, and African Americans are almost three times as likely as Caucasians to do this.

Diabetes can affect circulation and nerves in the feet. This can lead to problems like having sores and infections heal more slowly. And that, in turn, can even lead to amputation. Diabetes patients are advised to keep their feet properly moisturized. ML Carr believes he has found the best foot care treatment available, Vanash. "Vanash is a fantastic skin care product that has all the moisturizing qualities of petroleum jelly, without the greasy residue."

Petroleum jelly is considered the "gold standard" of moisturizers, but it is also greasy and stains clothes and bed sheets. A group of Boston scientists (former and current faculty of MIT, as well as Harvard and Boston University medical schools) have essentially taken the greasiness out. The new product, Vanash, is a more effective and comfortable treatment for dry skin.

According to Carr, there's much more to the Vanash story. He is one of several prominent Bostonians lending their names to an innovative marketing/fundraising venture that will sell Vanash over the internet with a hefty part of sales profits earmarked for charitable contribution. "We call our approach the Buck-A-Tube program, and it means for every tube of Vanash sold we'll give a dollar to a cause our customers select. That amount is considerably larger than what other commercial enterprises typically donate."

Proceeds from the sale of Vanash skincare treatment will support the Joslin Diabetes Center in its fight for a cure. Carr says "I am thrilled to be joining Ray Allen in his efforts to raise awareness of diabetes and to raise funds during these tight economic times." Carr is joined in this effort by former WBZ-TV anchor Liz Walker, former MIT Dean for Graduate Students Ike Colbert and the group of scientists and doctors who developed Vanash.

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