Last month, more than 150 children living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) gathered in Washington, D.C., to meet face-to-face with some of the top decision-makers in the U.S. government. The children, ages 4 to 17, represented all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The delegates in JDRF’s Children’s Congress enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Members of Congress understand what life with T1D is like and why research to fund life-changing therapies until a cure can be found is so critical. They speak up on behalf of the millions of people living with T1D and the families and friends who love them.
Middle Tennessee was represented by our own Duncan McCarter, who was diagnosed at 16 months. Duncan, along with the other members of the JDRF Children’s Congress, went to Washington, DC to meet with members of the House and Senate to speak out for the Special Diabetes Program. The SDP will run out of funds in September if lawmakers don’t act. With the help of the Special Diabetes Program, federal funding for research has led to significant progress for better treatments.
Duncan got the opportunity to sit down with Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper and discuss life with Type 1. Duncan created a scrapbook he had made for the trip – which included a picture of Duncan going to the hospital – and had the chance to show it to the Congressman. Duncan told Congressman Jim Cooper, ““I told them about how I handle diabetes,” Duncan said. “I don’t really like taking shots. I don’t really like having to check my sugar. They promised they would try to help.”
Along with meeting Congressman Jim Cooper, Duncan met with Senator Bob Corker, an FBI agent, football player, an equestrian champion, and others all with T1D! Duncan was so excited to see all the other Type 1s at the Children’s Congress and how they aren’t letting this disease bring them down!
Duncan was interviewed by Stacy Case and Fox17 on his trip to the Capitol. You can find that interview here.
We are so proud of Duncan for representing Middle Tennessee and for how strong he is with this disease!
Check out more information on the JDRF Children’s Congress!