The Celtics and the YMCA Team Up to Fight Diabetes

The campaign aims to raise awareness and fundraising for National Diabetes Month.

Championship banners image via Jason Tench/Shutterstock

Championship banners image via Jason Tench/Shutterstock

The Celtics and Sun Life Financial have teamed up to raise money for the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.

For every dunk a Celtics player makes in November, Sun Life will donate $1,000 to the program, and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation is matching that up to a combined maximum total of $40,000. Sun Life is also donating $1 for every Tweet or Retweet using #SunLifeDunkForDiabetes, for up to a maximum of $10,000.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which came to Boston last year, aims to reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes by teaching adults how to change their lifestyle and focus on being proactive in order to avoid costly medical bills and medications down the road. During the 16, hour-long weekly sessions, a “Y Lifestyle Coach” leads participants through fitness and nutrition strategies. After the 16 weeks, the program continues once a month for an additional eight months. Part of the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, it’s currently available at 882 YMCAs in 41 states.

The goal is to have participants lose five to seven percent of their body weight over the year, which, according to the National Institutes of Health and the CDC, can reduce type 2 diabetes in adults by 58 percent. In adults over age 60, that number is a monstrous 71 percent.

“The Y is rooted in the community with strong ties to local adults and families and can more easily reach at-risk populations compared to hospitals and clinicians,” says YMCA of Greater Boston President Kevin Washington. “It’s our mission to make our neighborhoods healthier and stronger and thanks to the support of Sun Life Financial and the Celtics we can continue to expand these critical health and wellness prevention program in our communities.”