— Philip Brady was one of nearly 160 kids selected from across the U.S. to advocate for type 1 diabetes research in Washington, D.C. —
Philip Brady, 17 of Fayetteville, was chosen by JDRF to join a delegation of children and celebrity advocates in Washington, D.C. this summer at JDRF 2017 Children’s Congress from July 24-26. The Delegates lobbied their Members of Congress to remind them of the vital need to continue supporting T1D research that could reduce the burden of this disease and ultimately find a cure.
These children—ages 4 to 17, and representing all 50 states—participated in a number of activities on the Hill, including attending a Congressional Committee hearing to share personal testimonies that highlight the daily struggles of living with T1D and the need for continued funding for research projects such as the Special Diabetes Program (SDP).
Philip and the other New York delegates had the opportunity to meet with local politicians U.S. Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, as well as U.S. Representative John Katko, discussing their interest and efforts to advance T1D research as active volunteers in their local JDRF chapters with each of them. “As one of the older delegates, I helped lead most of the meetings,” Philip said. “We talked a lot about the SDP and why it is so important for those of us with T1D. Everyone we met with representing New York state has always voted for and supported the SDP when it’s up for renewal, so the conversations were easier-going for us than they were for some of the delegates from other states.”
Philip and the 163 other Children’s Congress delegates were also accompanied throughout the weekend by several “T1D role models” – an accomplished group of celebrity advocates living and thriving with type 1 diabetes, including prime time television actor Austin Basis, Nickelodeon actress Brec Bassinger, rising NHL superstar Max Domi, and House of Cards and Boardwalk Empire actor Paul Sparks, just to name a few. “It was pretty surreal meeting them all,” Philip admitted. “When you see them on television or wherever you almost don’t think of them as real people, but when you talk to them you realize they’re dealing with the same issues that I am on a daily basis. It’s a good reminder that you should never let T1D hold you back and that you can do anything in life.”
For a complete recap from JDRF 2017 Children’s Congress, please click here.
About JDRF Children’s Congress
JDRF Children’s Congress was inspired by (then) eight-year-old Tommy Solo from Massachusetts, in 1999. He overheard adult JDRF volunteers talking about going to Washington, D.C. to talk to Congress and thought it was important that children go, too, and make their voices heard. JDRF Children’s Congress inspires national lawmakers to remember the children who live with T1D when making decisions about medical research funding and voting on other important Federal Government issues relating to diabetes. The young Delegates’ personal stories, told in their own words, are often more powerful than almost any other type of education a legislator and staff can receive.
Tommy’s idea quickly became a well-developed event, first held in 1999. Since then, JDRF Children’s Congress has occurred every other year.
To learn more about JDRF Children’s Congress, please visit http://cc.jdrf.org/.