What Will Happen in Washington?

Capitol hillThey are on their way to Washington.  Seems that letters went out to the many of 150 children who were chosen as delegtes for the JDRF Children’s Congress.   When I was part of the program we called it the ‘Run Up the Hill’, a great choice on the name now used.

The testimony and the few days from July 8th to July 10th  spent in our Nation’s Capitol will probably be remembered by these kids for the rest of their lives.  They have a job to do and they will do it well.  They will move lives to move mountains.  Nothing is more powerful than hearing directly from children what they life through everyday with diabetes.  The agenda will be set and it will be followed.

There was a record number of applicants this year according to the Children’s Congress website.  There needs to be a limit on how many kids can convene in the halls of Congress and the kids will be well furnished with what they need and will be guided by the JDRF on what can be distributed to the members of Congress.  But it is their voices and their stories that will have the biggest impact.

That said, if you would like to do something and be involved in meeting your congressman either in your hometown or in DC; perhaps everyone can take a page from Elizabeth Gar McCrary who is creating a book of faces and stories to take with her to share with our nation’s elected leaders when she goes to meet with her congressperson.  What a FABULOUS idea.  Magnificent. (JDRF Government Day is set for March 18-19)

The American Diabetes Association will also hold their Call to Congress from March 5th-March 7th this year as well.  Their message will be to ‘Stop Diabetes’ and surely that is a message that needs to be delivered loud and clear.

Here is the ADA Information about their call to congress. The ADA will also train people and let them know exactly how to the biggest impact with the leaders they will be meeting. 

Seems to me that our elected officials need to hear the stories about diabetes and they need to hear it many times.  Find out if you can be part of and join in these incredible initiatives meeting with our congressional leaders and testifying before congress. 

Find out if your congressional leader is part of the diabetes caucus.  I was part of the team that worked to create this in 1995 with the result occurring the following year.  It became the largest caucus on Capitol Hill.  If your Congressperson is not part, ask them to join it because it is THAT important.

There is strength in numbers and a unified voice is one that cannot be shut out or silenced; call these organizations and find out what you can do ‘On the Hill; or even at home if all the slots are filled. 

Say nothing and nothing will surely get done.

I am a diabetes dad

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6 replies on “What Will Happen in Washington?”

I have a question. I am receiving medicare due to retinopathy. My eyesight is bad and getting worse. The current administration has decided that pump supplies and a pump is not usable equipment to me, therefore I use insulin and needles to “control” my diabetes. 24 hour coverage with a pump would help me with my regime of care. My question is “why”?

Thanks Tom for getting the word out about what we can all do to help raise awareness of diabetes by either going to Washington to meet with our members of Congress or by doing so in-district in our home states. We all have a voice and should use it to share our story of living with or loving someone with diabetes. There are no limits to what we can accomplish together.

Hi Tom, when JDRF did a similar event here last year each child completed a scrap book, telling their mp about themselves,their families, their diagnosis, what a cure meant to them, how it affects them, their dreams..they were very poignant and I think the mps liked them too, far more compelling than the handouts!

Great post, Tom. Thanks for getting the word out on these very impottant and needed Congressional visits. And thanks for what you’ve done in the past to help get us to where we are today. Also, JDRF Government Day is set for March 18-19, as well, and there will be other opportunities for interaction on The Hill.

Tom – will be calling our local officials in DC making sure they’re on the same page as us and I hope the Children’s Congress makes some people on the hill feel just a small part of what we’re all dealing with – Good luck to all!!!!!

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