– Celebrities join more than 160 children at JDRF Children’s Congress to advocate for
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 6, 2017 – On July 24 – 26, 2017, JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D), will bring together leaders in television, film, and sports and more than 160 Delegates, ranging in age from 4 to 17, from across the United States and abroad to Washington, D.C. for JDRF 2017 Children’s Congress. During the event, celebrities and Delegates will advocate for urgent action to ensure continued Federal funding for medical research and access to improved therapies for T1D – a disease that affects the young Delegates and celebrity role models in attendance and 1.25 million Americans.
The list of celebrities includes Cristina Alesci, CNN television and digital correspondent, Brandon Denson, football player, trainer and educator, Brec Bassinger, actress and star of Nickelodeon’s “Bella and the Bulldogs,” Austin Basis, actor and star of CW’s award-winning drama “Beauty and the Beast,” Max Domi, Arizona Coyotes hockey player, Charlie Kimball, race and award-winning IndyCar driver, Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999, journalist, and author, Paul Sparks, actor and star of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” and Cory Vaughn, Atlantic League Maryland Blue Crabs baseball player.
Joining the celebrities at the event will be JDRF President and CEO, Derek Rapp and JDRF Chief Mission Officer, Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D. As part of the schedule, a town hall forum will be held on Tuesday, July 25. This is an opportunity for the Delegates to interact with these diverse professionals, as they share their experiences of managing the disease while pursuing their professional dreams.
“We are excited and honored to have the support of such talented and passionate role models who show us each day how they’re thriving despite the challenges of T1D,” said Dr. Aaron Kowalski, JDRF’s Chief Mission Officer. “While all of their achievements are quite remarkable, what’s most compelling is their steadfast commitment to using the power of their voice to raise awareness for our shared vision of a world without type 1 diabetes.”
JDRF Children’s Congress, one of the most powerful advocacy events on Capitol Hill, has been held biennially since 1999 and has become the largest media and grassroots advocacy event held in support of finding better treatments and a cure for T1D. The Delegates will talk about the personal impact T1D has made on their lives and the lives of their family members and loved ones. This event is an unparalleled experience for the Delegates, who will visit with national lawmakers to raise awareness about T1D and appeal to the United States Congress for the renewal of the Special Diabetes Program, which accounts for one-third of all Federal funding for T1D research.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF