Every two years, JDRF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore and over a hundred children with type 1 diabetes 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 to 17, represent all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As participants in JDRF’s Children’s Congress, they have a unique and empowering opportunity to help Members of Congress understand what life with type 1 diabetes is like and why research to find the cure for diabetes and its complications is so critical. The 2013 Children’s Congress took place on July 8-10, 2013. Matthew Mullen and Grant Hooks represented JDRF Northern Nevada and Matthew shared his experience with us. Learn more about Children’s Congress.
I went to the 2013 JDRF Children’s Congress to ask congress to support funding for the Special Diabetes Program. This program provides funding which is used for on-going studies and research to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes.
I had the chance to meet people from all over the country, as well as different countries. I went to the Capitol building and talked to my Congressman and Senators. I got to shake Vice President Biden’s hand after taking a picture with him (see photo of the 2013 Children’s Congress with Vice President Biden above). I met some celebrities who are type 1.
This experience gave me the opportunity to spread the word about type 1 to people who make decisions about where money is spent. The best part was actually getting to meet with Representative Amodei and Senator Reid and being able to share my story, as well as information about life with type 1 diabetes.
The most memorable thing about Children’s Congress was being able to see the impact that the delegates had on the Senators during the Senate Hearing. The overall experience is something I will always remember. ~ Matthew Mullen, Age 14, Diagnosed at age 11