Libby Lerch, age 16, of Newtown Square represented JDRF Eastern PA along with a delegation of children and celebrity advocates in Washington, D.C. at JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress from July 8-10. Along with more than 160 children with the disease, Libby traveled to Washington last month to urge Congress to renew the Special Diabetes Program, advocating for a five-year renewal of the program before federal diabetes research funding at the National Institutes of Health expires on September 30, 2019.
“Children’s Congress was an amazing experience,” Libby shares, “not only for me, but for everyone who had the honor of being a part of it. I was able to make friends with so many inspiring and kind kids from all over the world that I’ll be in touch with for a very long time.”
“It was so cool to be a small part of a big movement advocating for type 1 diabetes research and the crisis of skyrocketing insulin prices,” she continues. “The Senate hearing was truly unforgettable, with testimonies that resonated deeply with everyone in the room. Meeting with the Pennsylvania congressmen and women was a very special experience, and I’m so grateful to JDRF for all they do and for letting me be a part of this!”
It takes a village to carry forth our ambitious legislative and policy agenda, and these young advocates represent our next generation of leaders helping us to advance issues important to the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community, and bringing us closer to cures.
You can track the continued Children’s Congress excitement on social media following @JDRFAdvocacy and @JDRF and #JDRFCC19. We invite you to also watch the Senate hearing and read CC19 activity on the JDRF National blog!
You can also read more here: “Celebrities Connect with Youth at the Children’s Congress 2019”
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, visit cc.jdrf.org.