Fireside Chat with Debbie Allen

We are teaming up with award-winning actress Debbie Allen to focus on the increased risk of developing kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease, in people with type 2 diabetes. This is the newest phase of the nationwide “Are You the 33%?” campaign and is part of a new joint initiative with Bayer.


About the Speakers:

Debbie Allen

Award-winning actress, choreographer, producer, writer and director Debbie Allen is a dynamo and force to be reckoned with. She has starred in various Broadway productions and is well known for her role in the musical-drama TV series, Fame. She is an Executive Producer of and appears in Grey’s Anatomy and has also appeared in and directed countless TV shows. Allen has a deep family history of type 2 diabetes and she was recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes.


Joseph Vassalotti, MD

Dr. Vassalotti is the Chief Medical Officer of the National Kidney Foundation and Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He received his medical degree with Distinction in Research from the SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine and completed an Internal Medicine Residency and Nephrology Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.


Jeff Dawson

Type 2 diabetes patient Jeff Dawson received the diagnosis of kidney disease in 2017. He learned that diabetes caused his kidneys to fail and that he would need dialysis treatments to save his life. Fortunately, he received a kidney donation from a friend in July of 2019. Today, he shares his kidney story to inspire others, especially those who have type 2 diabetes.


Jummy Olabanji, moderator

Jummy Olabanji is a member of the News4 Today team, reporting each morning from the Live Desk. She has been honored for her work with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for breaking news anchor coverage, two Virginia Associated Press Awards and seven EMMY Awards. Olabanji is an advocate for organ donation and sits on the Board of Advisors of the National Kidney Foundation. She is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.