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PQ Youths Visit Washington, Lobby for Diabetes Research
Posted on October 4, 2011
Hayes and Lucy Ensign, a Rancho Penasquitos brother and sister, were among 150 children throughout the U.S. selected to represent their states on Capitol Hill this past summer to remind Congress and the Administration of the 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 7, were selected as delegates by the local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Chapter representing San Diego in the JDRF’s Children’s Congress. “It was such a thrill and a genuine honor to have both children selected as part of the CA Delegation,” said their mother, Julie Ensign, who accompanied her children on the trip with husband Brooks. “It was inspiring to be part of a really fantastic, energized, motivated group of parent advocates for their children who know a great deal about diabetes.”
The event, held every other summer, was led by JDRF’s International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore, and included Congressional visits by the youth delegates and a Senate hearing during which actor Kevin Kline and select delegates, researchers, and business and community leaders testified 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.
Lucy, who attends Park Village Elementary and was diagnosed at age 3, enjoyed meeting the others attending the event. “I loved making new friends who have diabetes just like me,” she said. “I especially loved meeting Crystal Bowersox, the American Idol runner-up.”
Hayes, diagnosed a year after Lucy when he was age 8, was impressed with being in Washington D.C. “Touring the U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress was great,” the Black Mountain Academy 6th grader said. “Being on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and actually casting a vote was a big deal.”
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. Hayes and Lucy followed 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 U. S. government. For more information on JDRF, visit www.jdrg.org.