13-year-old Australian Emma Hogan has been selected by JDRF to join 160 young American JDRF government advocates in Washington, D.C. this July. Emma will be there along with delegates from Canada, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands and the UK as a reminder to American politicians that type 1 diabetes is a global problem that requires a global effort.
Similar to JDRF Australia’s Kids in the House advocacy event, the JDRF Children’s Congress in the United States is structured around personal visits to politicians to remind them of the needs of the type 1 diabetes community, and the need to fund research into the disease.
Advocacy comes naturally to Emma. She attended the 2012 JDRF Kids in the House event in Canberra, and regularly meets with her local MP in western Sydney.
“I’ve had type 1 diabetes since I was seven,” she says. “My aim is to raise both funds and awareness for type 1 diabetes so one day there will be a cure for me and for all people with the disease. I’m really passionate about the cause, and I believe that I can make a difference.”
“I’m excited to be part of the 2015 Children’s Congress as I will get to meet lots of children like me and also to make more people aware of type 1 diabetes and how it affects my life. This will be my first trip to America and it would be exciting for anyone, but to be attending the Children’s Congress is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something I will remember for the rest of my life!”
“I hope that I will come away with lots of new friends and also some good ideas of different ways to fundraise and raise awareness for type 1 diabetes and help turn type one to type none.”
JDRF Australia Government Relations Manager Suzanne Culph says, “Government Advocacy is a key component of ensuring firstly, that the best type 1 diabetes research is funded, and secondly, that the results of research can be turned into new treatments and therapies for people living with the disease. Without the support of Government, we can’t advance research. And without the support of advocates, we can’t speak to Government.”
The 2015 Children’s Congress event will be in support of the recent announcement of $300m funding over two years for the US-based Special Diabetes Program (SDP). Established in 1997, the SDP has helped to translate research discoveries such as the Artificial Pancreas into better treatments and therapies, delivered more quickly to patients.