CHARLOTTE, NC — Three children from Charlotte were chosen by JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, to join a delegation of their peers and celebrity advocates in Washington, D.C. this summer at JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress from July 8-10.
Kabir Dewan, 16, Hannah Self, 17, Jack Cusick, 16, will join more than 160 other children from around the U.S. to lobby their Members of Congress and remind them of the vital need to support T1D research that could reduce the burden of this disease and ultimately find a cure.
These children—ages 4 to 17, and representing all 50 states—will participate in a number of activities on the Hill, including a Congressional Committee hearing to share personal testimonies that highlight the challenges of living with T1D and the need for continued funding for research projects such as the Special Diabetes Program (SDP).
Joining the U.S. Delegates will be five International Delegates traveling from Australia, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Together, the Delegates will help to convey to the Federal Government that T1D is a global problem that requires a global effort.
“Every day our children and we as their parents face the burden of type one diabetes, so when these courageous children share their stories they become powerful advocates in the fight to end this disease,” said Christina Barnes. “The Delegates are a representation of millions of other families who need the support of the government. Children’s Congress gives the T1D youth community a unified voice in front of Congress and a way to urge our government leaders to continue supporting research.”
“Growing up, I had to learn how to advocate for myself and my needs. It was hard being “different” from other kids and receiving so much attention for having T1D, but it made me stronger! Having diabetes has been a blessing in disguise and I’m so excited for the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. this summer to advocate for type 1 diabetics and show Congressmen why we need a cure.”
Serving as Chair for JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress will be Katama Eastman of New York, NY, whose 15-year-old daughter, Merrill was diagnosed with T1D at 15 months. Eastman is Board President of the JDRF New York City / Long Island Chapter. As Chair of the event, she will help engage, support and energize all these Delegates and their families during the advocacy efforts up on Capitol Hill.