Chris Martin recently joined the Board of Directors for the Northern California Inland Chapter of JDRF. As part of his service, he will be serving as our Chapter Advocacy Team Chair (ATC) helping to lead the advocacy efforts across our 36-county region.
Chris was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of 16. After his diagnosis, he looked for ways to help on a larger scale. JDRF became the organization for him and his family because of its commitment to T1D research and the hope it provides in finding a cure. He began by volunteering at his local JDRF Chapter in Chicago (where he is originally from), and soon formed a JDRF Walk team. Once the event passed though he wondered what else they could do. He and his family recognized the importance of story and their willingness to share it with others.
Since then, JDRF advocacy has become Chris’s ‘home’. Following his experience in Chicago, he joined JDRF as an employee and became a member of the Advocacy team in Washington, D.C. The team does critical work engaging Members of Congress in conversations on the impact of living with T1D and helps to advance research and policy ideas aimed at curing T1D.
When Chris and his wife moved to Jackson two years ago, it wasn’t long before he found JDRF again! As the Advocacy Team Chair, he will be helping to support T1D advocates in the Chapter’s geographical area to build relationships with our Members of Congress. This takes place through several initiatives including the New Member Outreach Initiative (NMOI), Promise to Remember Me Campaign, Government Day, and Children’s Congress. You can find more information on each of these by visiting www.jdrf.org.
As Chris shares, “For those of us living with T1D or supporting loved ones with T1D, we know its daily challenges and the constant balancing act between high and low blood sugar levels while trying to live as “normal” a life as possible. We might make it look easy but it’s critical we tell our story of its challenges.” As a JDRF Advocate, you join a nationwide network to share personal stories so Members of Congress and others in positions of influence can understand the physical, emotional and financial burden of T1D.
To get involved, consider any of the following:
- Sign-up family or friends to be a JDRF Advocate
- Take part in our Coverage2Control Campaign.
- For our younger advocates, become a Youth Advocacy Leader
- Follow us and participate on social media (@JDRFAdvocacy)
- Take action on alerts when they hit your inboxes, and share them within your network!
“Research itself may find new and better ways to treat, prevent and cure T1D, but advocacy can serve as the overwhelming catalyst to bring this research to those who will benefit from it.” Chris invites you to join him and again, we welcome Chris to the Chapter!