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PQ Children Headed to Washington
Posted on June 3, 2011
Hayes and Lucy Ensign, a Rancho Penasquitos brother and sister, are among 150 children throughout the U.S. selected to represent their states on Capitol Hill this month to 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.
Hayes, age 11, and Lucy, age seven, were selected as delegates by the local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Chapter representing San Diego in the JDRF’s Children’s Congress.
The delegates — all ages four to 17 — represent all 50 states and the District of Columbia and will converge on Washington D.C., to talk about their challenges with lawmakers during JDRF’s Children’s Congress 2011, from June 20 to 22.
The event, held every other summer, will be led by JDRF’s International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore, and will include Congressional visits by the child delegates and a Senate hearing during which Moore, select delegates, researchers, and business and community leaders will testify on the need for continued funding for type 1 diabetes research, under the theme of “Promise to Remember Me.” This theme serves as a call to lawmakers to remember the struggle of living with type 1 diabetes, and the importance of supporting and funding type 1 diabetes research. “All of the children and their families can confirm with me that type 1 diabetes tests our will and determination to live a normal life,” said Ms. Moore, who has had type 1 diabetes for about 40 years. “With JDRF’s Children’s Congress, we are able to put faces to a disease that places an enormous toll on our nation. It is also a reminder for Congress that their partnership in the fight to find better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes is essential and has helped to drive research progress to date.”
Lucy, diagnosed at age 3, and Hayes, diagnosed one year later at age 8, “have learned lessons in resiliency and compassion,” said their mother, Julie Ensign. Hayes learned immediately to test his blood sugar and give himself insulin. He has since helped his sister to learn these essential survival skills, which they do six times each day. Hayes was selected to participate in a JDRF and NIH-funded clinical trial that has helped lessen the impact of his diabetes.
“We are honored to be selected to represent the San Diego diabetes community,” said the children’s father, Brooks Ensign. “JDRF has provided families like ours with a critical support network. Hayes and Lucy look forward to meeting the other children and encouraging Congress to continue supporting this essential research.”
Hayes indicated he was excited about traveling to Washington D.C. “I hope we can make a difference for other families by meeting with our senators and congressman,” he said. Lucy and Hayes, accompanied by their parents, will join other children at Children’s Congress in sharing their poignant stories about being diagnosed and the day-to-day struggles of all children with type 1 diabetes. They are hopeful that members of Congress will understand what life is like with type 1 diabetes and why research to find a cure and better treatments is so important.
Children’s Congress, held every other year since 1999, has become the largest media and grassroots advocacy event held in support of finding better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes. The newly selected delegates will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors in raising national awareness for type 1 diabetes and participating in personal advocacy at the highest level of the United States government. For more information on the Children’s Congress visit, http://cc.jdrf.org/.
As many as three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes. Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults—approximately 80 people per day—are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the United States.