Children With Diabetes Lobby Congress
A special interest group descended on Capitol Hill en masse June 22, looking to press their agenda with Congress.
You know Washington, D.C. Everyone wants something in this town. Kids with diabetes apparently want to live.
ABC News reports some 150 little lobbyists from across the country participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's annual Children's Congress to ask adult lawmakers to fund diabetes research.
"I am here to ask you to continue to do your part and fund research to find a cure," Jonathan Platt, an 8-year-old from Tarzana, Calif., testified before Congress. "A cure for diabetes means that I could go to any summer camp and have sleepovers whenever and wherever I want. It means I could be a regular kid again. Most of all, it would mean I would not have diabetes."
Diabetes research foundation officials estimate 3 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, and 15,000 more children are diagnosed with the disease each year.
Kerry Morgan, a 14-year-old from Glen Allen, Va., participated in three clinical trials for diabetes patients, including one last October that tested artificial pancreas technology.
"I can honestly say the closed loop artificial pancreas trial was the most amazing experience of my entire life and holds so much promise for people living with this disease," she testified. "On the day the artificial pancreas is finally approved and released, people with this disease can say, 'Diabetes: There's an app for that.' "
Among those testifying was Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. ABC reports she shared her own story of living with juvenile diabetes with the group of delegates.
Sotomayor learned she had Type 1 diabetes at age 7. Before she was diagnosed, Sotomayor had chronic thirst and wet the bed. "I was ashamed," she told delegates. "It's a disease you have to deal with, but you can."
Eventually, she told kids, having to monitor her body taught her discipline, which helped her as a student and a judge.
"Figuring out how I felt all the time, all of that taught me discipline," she said.
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