Iroquois County's Times-Republic: Watseka student part of group lobbying for diabetes research funding

A Watseka Community High School student took part in the JDRF Children’s Congress earlier this year.

The JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, is a nonprofit organization that funds Type 1 Diabetes research, advocates for government action, and provides support for the Type 1 Diabetes community, said Jackie Lynch. She was one of four students selected to represent Illinois.

Lynch was a delegate earlier this year and she, along with other delegates from around the United States lobbied members of Congress to continue funding of Type 1 Diabetes research.

“JDRF is the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Type 1 Diabetes research. The research is for a cure as well as for technological and other advancements to make life easier with T1D. Current research is focused on the artificial pancreas, beta cell replacement or regeneration, better blood sugar control and prevention of T1D,” she said.

Lynch, a sophomore at WCHS, also noted that November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

The delegation meets every two years 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, ages 4-17, represent all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This year more than 1,000 children applied to be JDRF Children’s Congress Delegates,” she said. Each delegate can also take one parent with them.

“The Children’s Congress Delegates meet with members of Congress to help them understand what it is like to live with T1D and why it is critical for Congress to fund research for a cure and for life-changing therapies until a cure can be found.

“The delegates speak on behalf of the millions of people living with T1D,” Lynch said.

“Children’s Congress gives delegates the opportunity to meet other kids living with T1D and form friendships, develop leadership skills and encourage kids to be empowered to use their voices to improve their lives and the lives of all people affected by T1D.”

While in Washington, D.C., Lynch said she not only met with other delegates, but also with U.S. leaders and some other famous people.

“The other Illinois delegates and I met with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, and with a staffer for U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth,” Lynch said. “I also met with U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger.

“In each meeting we talked about life with T1D and the need for continued funding of T1D research. A few days after Children’s Congress ended, Senator Durbin told his fellow Senators all about our meeting when he addressed the Senate to discuss the need for lower priced insulin in the United States.

“On the first day of Children’s Congress, the Delegates met role models with T1D including a NASA rocket scientist, FBI agent, and someone who participates in clinical trials for the artificial pancreas.


The original article can be found on the Iroquois County's Times-Republic website here.