Join America’s Diabetes Challenge:
Get to Your Goals

America’s Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals is a program from Merck to urge people with type 2 diabetes to know their A1C number and to talk to their doctor about setting and attaining their own blood sugar goals. The program encourages friends and caregivers to challenge their loved ones to get to their A1C goal and to help support the 29 million Americans living with this condition.

People with type 2 diabetes can reduce their risk of serious complications by setting individual goals to manage the ABCs of diabetes—that’s A for A1C, also known as blood sugar, B for blood pressure and C for cholesterol. Work with your doctor to come up with an individualized treatment plan that is right for you.

A1C is a blood test that shows your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months and helps you and your doctor see how well your diabetes treatment is working. A main goal of type 2 diabetes management is to keep your blood sugar under control and to reach the A1C goal you’ve established with your doctor.

People without diabetes usually have an A1C ranging from 4-6 percent. It is recommended that many people with diabetes have an A1C of less than 7 percent to help reduce the risk of complications,* and nearly half of people with diabetes are not at an A1C <7%. A higher or lower A1C goal may be appropriate for some people, and you should speak with your doctor about what goal is right for you.

So…are YOU at your A1C and blood sugar goals?

Find out by accepting America’s Diabetes Challenge.
Take the PLEDGE to know your A1C and to get to your goal!

    Know your ABCs.
    Know your A1C and set goals.
    Develop a plan to reach your A1C goal.
    Help a loved one reach their A1C goal.

  • “I worked with my doctor to know my A1C goal. We came up with a plan that I can stick to, which helps me track and stay at that goal.”

    Meet S. Epatha,
    Actress and Your Mission Leader

    Eleven years ago, I got an important wake-up call. At the time, I wasn’t at my healthiest. I’d put on a lot of weight, wasn’t exercising or paying attention to my diet.

    At a health fair event I had my blood sugar tested. The doctor told me that my blood sugar levels were very high and I should schedule an appointment right away. I have a family history of type 2 diabetes, but I was oblivious to my own signs and symptoms.

    I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and decided to get serious about my health. I worked with my doctor to come up with a diabetes management plan that was right for me, including the right diet, exercise and medications to help me meet my A1C goal. I make sure to stick with my plan by checking my blood sugar twice a day and by tracking my A1C numbers every three months when I see my doctor to make sure my plan is still working for me. I keep a log of my weekly progress and make regular appointments with my doctor to help keep on top of my eating habits, exercise routine and medications. I’ve also learned that sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may not be reaching your blood sugar goals, and your doctor may need to change your treatment plan.

    Because type 2 diabetes runs in my family, I know firsthand how it changes your life, and I’ve seen the consequences of not knowing your A1C number and not making a commitment to get to your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol goals. In addition to me, one of my brothers has the condition and my father and grandmother died from complications of diabetes.

    That’s why I think it is so important that people learn more about proper blood sugar management and why I have pledged to continue working with my doctor to know my A1C number and to attain my blood sugar goals. I urge you to make the same pledge.

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    *The American Diabetes Association’s guidelines recommend that people with type 2 diabetes have an A1C of less than 7 percent to help reduce the risk of complications.

    S. Epatha Merkerson Photo Credit: Lisa Berg Photography