Children’s Congress is not only JDRF’s flagship advocacy event, it is one of the largest advocacy events in our nation’s capital. Since it was launched in 1999, JDRF has brought more than 1,000 kids and teenagers with type 1 diabetes (T1D) to Washington, D.C., to talk to their Members of Congress about the importance of funding T1D research.
Today, we know that Children’s Congress is so much more than just an event. Many of those 1,000 kids have grown up. In their new adult lives, these former delegates continue to prove that the right combination of optimism, perseverance, and community spirit can indeed change the world. In this weekly, five-part series, they show us how it’s done.
MEGAN CASEY, 1999
“I have my biological family, and I also have my JDRF family.”
Age as delegate: 15
Age at T1D diagnosis: 8
Children’s Congress 1999
What she took away from Children’s Congress:
“Children’s Congress made me realize that I wanted to be involved with JDRF for the rest of my life, in any way I can. Today, that means every day.”
How she’s changing the world today:
Kansas State University 2006
BS in electronic journalism and nonprofit management
Megan continued meeting with her Members of Congress long after her summer as a Children’s Congress delegate. “It was important to me to meet with my local representatives and senators to let them know I haven’t outgrown this disease.”
Megan began working with JDRF right out of college, as a special events assistant in the Kansas City Chapter. Her skills in electronic journalism were topped only by her enthusiasm, and one year later, she was promoted to special events coordinator. In 2009, she moved to San Antonio, TX, where she was development manager and then associate executive director of the South Central Texas Chapter. And last fall, Megan became regional manager for the Lone Star Region.
How does Megan feel about her job working for the organization she grew up in? “I have my biological family, and I also have my JDRF family,” she says.
This summer, Megan and her husband, Luke, made a very happy addition to the family when little Charlie was born on May 23. Congratulations, Megan!