American Idol star joins Eli Lilly's diabetes kids camp efforts

Crystal Bowersox
(Carly Glass)

Crystal Bowersox may have been a runner-up on American Idol, but now she's taking a starring role as spokesperson for Eli Lilly's diabetes efforts.

Bowersox, who has Type 1 diabetes, is joining Lilly Diabetes as an ambassador and will go on a tour of diabetes summer camps with other celebrity ambassadors to meet with kids and share their stories.

"As someone who was diagnosed with diabetes as a child, Crystal Bowersox understands what newly diagnosed children often go through. She is a terrific example of someone who has managed the ups and downs of the disease,” Mike Mason, vice president of Lilly Diabetes, said in a statement. “We are excited to include her perspective as we continue to meet the needs of children with diabetes."

This is not Bowersox' first turn at diabetes marketing. In 2011, she appeared along with BB King in an ad campaign for the OneTouch blood sugar monitoring device, which involved TV, print and online ads.

Lilly Diabetes created its Lilly Camp Care Package Program 15 years ago, and through it has donated more than $30 million in insulin, supplies, camper backpacks and educational resources to diabetes camps, Jackie Giovanoni, Lilly Diabetes' global director of advocacy and professional relations, told FiercePharmaMarketing.

The organization has also donated more than $700,000 in camp scholarships to the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) campership program since 2008.

Bowersox kicks off her ambassadorship July 7 at the Friends of Life conference in Orlando. She will join Lilly spokespeople Kris Freeman, an Olympic skier, and Nascar driver Ryan Reed. While the camps happen during the summer, Lilly's program is a year-round commitment, Giovanoni said. Lilly Diabetes also supports Type 1 kids and families through its Disney collaboration, which includes online and published resources.

Eli Lilly's diabetes portfolio includes hot new stars Trulicity, a GLP-1 medicine, and Jardiance, the SGLT2 contender it shares with Boehringer Ingelheim, as well as older drugs Humalog and Basaglar.

- read Lilly's release

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