Introducing our JDRF Children’s Congress Northern California Delegates

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JDRF 2023 Children’s Congress will take place from July 9 – 11, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

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 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.

Meet the 2023 Delegates from our JDRF Northern California Chapter:

Marisa Bricca

Age: 16, Age at Diagnosis: 7

If you ask Marisa what she wants to do when she’s older, her answer is simple: she wants to make a difference in people’s lives. Since being diagnosed with T1D at age seven, Marisa has been working to make a difference. Marisa and her family have been involved in the JDRF One Walk, TypeOneNation Summits, and local community outreach events. Her siblings and parents were also screened for diabetes autoantibodies through TrialNet. Marisa shares, “I felt it was important for them to participate in screening because the more information researchers have about what causes T1D will allow them to figure out how to prevent and cure the disease.”

Marisa enjoys anything creative, particularly sewing and sketching. She loves working out at the gym, going on runs with her dog, Wing, and is proud to be active in the visually impaired community by helping to raise puppies that will go on to become service animals for the blind.

Lucca Ford-Pisano

Age: 11, Age at Diagnosis: 1

Lucca likes to stay active with fencing, playing dodgeball, and going to the park with his friends. He’s become a pro at overcoming challenges—not just T1D, but also dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD. Lucca recently gave a presentation, educating his classmates and teachers on what it’s like to have T1D. He says, “It can sometimes be hard to have T1D because your friends may know about it but have no experience with it.”

Lucca and his family do all they can to help find a cure for T1D, and they don’t plan on stopping! Lucca’s dad is a longtime JDRF Rider and Ride Coach, and his family has participated in One Walk events and Galas since Lucca’s diagnosis at age 1.

Kathryn Moesta

Age: 14, Age at Diagnosis: 9

Kathryn recently earned her scuba diving certification, something people with T1D couldn’t do until recently. She loves sports and the outdoors, with some of her favorite activities being martial arts, horseback riding, skiing, and nature hikes in the Redwood Forest. She’s also writing a book with her best friend! When she is older, Kathryn hopes to become a doctor to help other people accomplish their dreams.

Kathryn has been active with JDRF in many ways including through One Walk events, speaking at Gala, and serving as a Youth Ambassador. She has also written letters to her Members of Congress advocating for T1D research. Kathryn is inspired by the people who have navigated living with T1D before her—on a recent camping trip, she met an older adult with T1D, and they formed an instant bond over their shared experiences. “I am so proud of both of us for not letting T1D stop us from doing the things that we love!”

Zosia Mosur

Age: 14, Age at Diagnosis: 11

Zosia has a passion for writing, especially poetry. She also loves to play violin and listen to live music. Aside from an appreciation for the arts, Zosia enjoys learning about important topics like politics and religion.

Zosia is very outspoken about the issues impacting people with T1D—she appeared on live television with her Representative, Nancy Pelosi, to talk about the importance of health insurance coverage for everyone. Shortly after her T1D diagnosis, Zosia became a JDRF Youth Ambassador and has raised money through One Walk. She also participated in a clinical trial, and says the experience was “incredible.” Zosia hopes that, through advocacy, “people like me don’t have to consider financials just to stay alive.”

Frankie Porrino

Age: 7, Age at Diagnosis: 5

Frankie is one busy girl! She is on a local swim team, plays piano, is an avid snow skier, participates in gymnastics, and is in the drama club at school. In her spare time, Frankie loves to play outdoors (especially with her younger brother, Nico), draw, and color. When she grows up, Frankie says, “I want to be a veterinarian and tell the world about T1D.”

Frankie is off to a great start when it comes to raising T1D awareness, she attended a Q&A at a local Rotary Club meeting with her dad where they answered questions about T1D and spoke to club members about supporting their JDRF One Walk team. Although diagnosed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Frankie and her family have attended JDRF events and she is looking forward to coming to Washington, D.C. to talk to her representatives about T1D, and what they can do to help all those impacted by the disease.

Damian Reynoso

Age: 10, Age at Diagnosis: 3

Damian loves sports, particularly baseball and soccer, and he doesn’t shy away from stepping up into some of the tougher roles on his teams. “I like to take on the tough roles to be a leader to my teammates and show them that they can do it too!” When he is older, Damian thinks he would like to be a professional athlete or perhaps the first goalie or catcher with T1D (if there is not a cure of course).

Damian also doesn’t shy away from raising awareness about T1D within his community. He’s given speeches to his class about living with T1D and spoken at JDRF events. When he’s out in public and sees someone looking at his insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor, he doesn’t hesitate to ask them if they’d like to know more about them and what they do. Damian looks forward to coming to Washington, D.C. and using his passion for speaking about T1D and sharing his story to help push for change!

Nina Schwab

Age: 17, Age at Diagnosis: 13

Sports and competition have always been a big part of Nina’s life, but she has always made time for other things she’s passionate about. Right after she left the hospital after receiving her T1D diagnosis, she headed straight to play in her piano recital! A few days after her diagnosis, she began cooking and baking with alternative flours and sweeteners to experiment with different recipes, which eventually grew into a website. Nina says that being able to focus on these things has made her journey with T1D a bit easier.

Nina has hopes to become one of the first collegiate divers living with T1D and then go into the medical field. She brings an incredible amount of passion to raising awareness around T1D, sharing that, “I promote diabetes by being very open about it, and I love answering people’s questions.” Nina helps to raise money to fund research, and as a Youth Advocacy Leader, urges Congress to take action when it comes to issues that impact the T1D community.

Tennyson Tsai

Age: 11, Age at Diagnosis: 7

Tennyson likes creating online trivia quizzes and collecting junior ranger badges from all the U.S. National Parks. He’s a speed LEGO builder and has built over 25 sets so far. He’s especially proud of the fact that he has more badges than anyone in his Cub Scout troop! He and his family spent a whole year in Taiwan. “There I met several members of the Taiwan T1D community and we compared our stories and devices.”

Tennyson has been participating in a clinical trial for T1D for the past year and is very excited to see the results. One day, he’d like to have a nice house, a dog, and a Nobel Prize. Until then, he is using his voice to raise awareness about living with T1D. In addition to being a Delegate this year, Tennyson and his family support JDRF through JDRF One Walks, Galas, and other fundraising events.

Learn more about JDRF Children’s Congress at