Promise to Remember Them

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Every year, JDRF’s Promise to Remember Me campaign rallies our national network of advocacy leaders to schedule Congressional meetings in their home states over the span of a few weeks. The point of these meetings is to advance issues that are important to the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community and to convene individuals and families to share their experiences of life with this disease. These meetings ensure our Federal legislators understand the emotional, physical, and financial realities of life with T1D and how they can be supportive of every constituent impacted by this disease.

This year, Mountain West Advocacy Team Chairs (ATCs) helped coordinate 12 meetings across our chapter territory.

Here are the highlights!

In Colorado, ATC Jennifer, along with Youth Ambassadors (YAs) Gavin and Jaden and their parents, met with representatives from the office of Rep. Diana DeGette, who is a Co-Chair of the Diabetes Caucus and a fierce supporter of JDRF. As promised in this meeting, DeGette recently helped ensure the extension of the Special Diabetes Program at increased funding through December 2024.

Additionally, meetings were held with:

  • Rep. Ken Buck, with the support of Board member Dominick;
  • Rep. Jason Crow, who ATC Jennifer previously met in D.C.;
  • Rep. Joe Neguse, with the support of District Captain (DC) AJ, YA Gavin, and YA Parent Jennifer; and
    • When ATC Jennifer previously met with Neguse in D.C., she asked the Congressman if he would join the Diabetes Caucus. During this meeting, he was proud to report back that he had done so and officially signed his support for the SDP!
  • Rep. Brittany Pettersen, with the support of YA Sabrina.

YA Gavin also got to meet with Senator Michael Bennet, while also taking time to meet with Senator John Hickenlooper with YA Noah.

Here’s what ATC Jennifer had to say about the 2024 Promise Me campaign:

“This was my favorite year doing Promise Me meetings. I was able to include constituents from many of the districts! My absolute favorite meeting this year was with Congressman Neguse’s office.
We had a great group of JDRF Advocates join this meeting with many different perspectives on T1D. We shared how the SDP has impacted our lives, Trisha and Jennifer shared their experiences as parents of kids living with T1D, I shared my experience watching how the improvements in technology have affected my brother, and AJ and Gavin shared what it’s like personally living with T1D. It was so wonderful to have the perspectives of an adult and a teenager who have been directly impacted by this disease. This made it clear that the funding from the SDP has already eased the burden of T1D in many ways, as AJ shared what the diagnosis was like when he was diagnosed before we had the technology that we do now, compared to Gavin, who was diagnosed more recently and had access to these devices early on.
Personally, this meeting renewed my excitement for JDRF Advocacy.
In March, we (Jennifer and District Captain Margaret) met with Ryan Shuman from Congressman Neguse’s office to ask him to sign on to the SDP, and we presented the option of joining the Diabetes Caucus as a way to stay updated on diabetes legislation and increase awareness of the disease among members of Congress. Ryan told us that after our meeting in March, he spoke to the Congressman about both topics, and Congressman Neguse signed on to the SDP and is now a member of the Diabetes Caucus. This meeting confirmed that our work with JDRF Advocacy is being heard!
I feel confident that we have made impactful changes with our Promise Me meetings. I am so thankful to have people like Ryan and our JDRF Advocates working to ensure that T1D funding and research remains a top priority for our members of Congress.”

In Utah, if you asked the kids which meeting was their favorite, they’d say it was with Rep. Burgess Owens. YAs Reese and Thomas, along with their parents, met with the Congressman to talk all things life with T1D. At the end, Owens graciously gave everyone a chance to pose for a photo with his Super Bowl ring!

Meetings were also held with:

  • Rep. John Curtis, with the support of YAs Laila, Ella, and Liviana; their parents; and long-time volunteers Cyd, Jeff, and Cheryl;
  • Rep. Blake Moore, with the support of YA Siena; and
  • Rep. Celeste Maloy, with the support of Board member Chris.

A meeting was also held with Senator Mike Lee, while youth advocates Elliott, Preslee, Liviana, and Aggy met with Senator Mitt Romney.

Here’s what ATC Christina had to share about her experience this year:

“Over the past 8 weeks, JDRF Advocates throughout Utah’s 4 congressional districts met with their members of Congress, and staff, to share what it’s like to live with T1D and to ask for their support back in Washington, D.C.
These T1D Advocates shared personal experiences and the challenges our T1D community faces, including continued funding for T1D research in Utah and around the country, as well as insulin affordability. Our JDRF Youth Ambassadors showed off their diabetes technology and talked about their hopes for the future, and those who have lived with the disease for many years shared the advancements in T1D treatments since their diagnosis.
Many thanks to Congressmen Blake Moore (UT-1), John Curtis (UT-3), and Burgess Owens (UT-4), as well as the staff for Congresswoman Celeste Maloy (UT-2), Senator Mitt Romney, and Senator Mike Lee, for meeting with JDRF Advocates during the Promise to Remember Me campaign! We appreciate their support for the T1D community and look forward to meeting with them again in the future.”

Want to view more pictures and read more about the 2024 Promise to Remember Me campaign throughout Mountain West’s territory and beyond? Visit our landing page here.