Charlie wants to be a doctor, artist, fireman, truck driver, and engineer when he grows up. Today, this curious five-year-old has time to decide what dreams he’ll pursue. Since Charlie’s T1D diagnosis at just 10 months old, Charlie’s family channels their worry about his quality of life as he grows up with the disease toward working for a cure. From raising more than $60,000 through JDRF Walks to participating in the Promise to Remember Me Campaigns and being featured in the T1D Aware Campaign, Charlie and his family have been active JDRF supporters since the early days of his diagnosis.
Charlie was selected from over 1,500 candidates as a delegate and will be heading to Washington, D.C. in a few weeks for the 2013 JDRF Children’s Congress slated to take place from July 8 – 10. Charlie and over 150 other children and teenagers from around the United states and world will travel to the nation’s capital to represent their state and country and remind Congress and the Administration of the critical need to find better treatments and a cure for a disease they live with every day – type 1 diabetes (T1D).
These children – ages 4 to 17, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia – will come together in the nation’s capital to talk with lawmakers about the challenges of living with T1D and the need for continued research to eliminate those challenges. Joining these children will be six international delegates traveling from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The delegates and their international counterparts will convey a clear message to the U.S. government that diabetes is a global problem that requires a global effort. The event, held every other summer, will once again be led by JDRF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore.
“These outstanding children and their families all understand, as I do, that type 1 diabetes tests us every day” says Ms. Moore, who has had T1D for more than 40 years. “Children’s Congress gives all of us a voice to urge Congress to increase its support of research, which is essential to reducing the burden of this disease on us and on our country.”
The week’s activities will include congressional visits by the delegates and a hearing during which Ms. Moore, select delegates, researchers, and community leaders will testify on the need for continued funding for T1D research, under the theme of “Promise to Remember Me”. This theme serves as a powerful call to lawmakers to remember the struggle of living with the disease, and the importance of supporting and funding research to reduce the burden of living with T1D until a cure becomes available.
To learn more about JDRF’s Advocacy efforts and follow Children’s Congress 2013, please visit advocacy.jdrf.org