Every year, 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. 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. Congratulations to our JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress Delegate from the Northern California Inland Chapter:
Age at T1D Diagnosis: 6
Grace has been living with type one diabetes for almost 9 years. She attends Oak Ridge High School and is a passionate tennis player, who also uses the sport to regulate her blood sugar. Grace describes when diagnosed that she and her family had no idea what to expect. “My journey with type one has been a roller coaster ride. Type one diabetes is not fun, but it has made me more responsible.” Shortly after her diagnosis, Grace and her family found JDRF and became involved year-round with events such as the One Party Gala and One Walk.
Grace shares that she can’t wait to go to Washington to help raise awareness about type one. “I am excited to go because I can’t wait to meet kids from all around the country with type one. I’m also excited to be able to express how I feel about type one and it’s important issues in health care.” As delegate, she also looks forward to demonstrating that even though daily struggles exist in living with type one, it hasn’t gotten in the way of her doing amazing things in life.
Children Making History
The JDRF Children’s Congress T1D advocacy program was inspired by a boy from Massachusetts named Tommy Solo. One day, at age nine, he asked his mother, “Why can’t kids go to Washington and tell their Representatives about what it is like to have type 1 diabetes and let them know that we want scientists to find a cure?” His mom and other JDRF volunteers agreed and, in 1999, the first-ever JDRF Children’s Congress took place in Washington, D.C.
To learn more about JDRF Children’s Congress, please visit http://cc.jdrf.org/.