Meet Our Children’s Congress Representatives of 2019

childrens congress

What is Children’s Congress?

Every two years, more than 160 children living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) gather 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, represent all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as JDRF’s six International Affiliates. 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. This year, Children’s Congress of 2019 will be taking place from July 8-10 in Washington, D.C.

We are so excited to have three representatives from the JDRF Greater Western Carolinas Chapter going to advocate this July. We want to give you the opportunity to get to know each of our representatives below, so you can meet the inspiring faces that will be representing our chapter and fighting for the T1D Community.

Meet Our North Carolina & South Carolina Representatives: 


Jack Cusick


Age: 16
Age at T1D diagnosis: 3

Jack doesn’t remember a lot about being in the hospital at age three when he was diagnosed with T1D, but he does remember feeling scared, which is why he shares his story with kids at local hospitals who are newly diagnosed. Through working with his doctor and using an insulin pump, Jack has been able to gain confidence about living with this disease as a teenager, and being more open about T1D with his friends, classmates and baseball teammates. While Jack is grateful for the advancements in technology that have made life with T1D a little easier, he says that he “dreams of a day when my insulin pump is no longer attached to my body.” Jack wants to make sure that Members of Congress are aware of what life with T1D is like, and the importance of continued federal funding for critical diabetes research.


Hannah Self


Age: 17
Age at T1D diagnosis: 8

Hannah enjoys participating in cross country and track and field not only from an athletics perspective, but also a T1D advocacy perspective. “Through participating in these sports, I have been able to spread awareness about T1D to my peers. My teammates have learned all about it by watching me check my blood sugar, run with my insulin pump and treat my lows.” In addition to sports and being an honor student, Hannah has been very active with JDRF by raising $75,000 with her JDRF One Walk team throughout the years, speaking at Galas and acting as a mentor for kids who have recently been diagnosed with T1D. Hannah is excited to bring her knack for spreading T1D awareness to Children’s Congress.


Kabir Dewan


Age: 16
Age at T1D diagnosis:14

When Kabir was diagnosed with T1D, he worried about the changes it would bring to him and his family’s lives and all of the adjustments they would have to make. Kabir was able to get into a routine and return to doing the things he enjoys—participating in varsity sports, playing music and everything else he loved doing prior to his diagnosis. Kabir is very active with the JDRF Greater Western Carolinas Chapter, from joining the local JDRF One Walk committee, to volunteering his time at the TypeOneNation Summit and other JDRF events. Kabir also currently serves as his Chapter’s recruitment officer, all while maintaining straight A’s in school! What does Kabir hope to accomplish while he’s in D.C.? Progress toward a future where he “never has to prick his finger again, take an injection—and there is a cure for T1D.”

The Greater Western Carolinas Chapter is so proud of these three individuals and is so excited to follow their journey to Washington, DC this summer.

Want to meet the other chosen representatives? Click here. 

Be sure to follow along our chapter’s social media channels for more information and updates of Children’s Congress 2019!