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JDRF Children's Congress Delegates 2019

From Left to Right - Isaac (14), Jaden (13), Morgan (10)

3 Children from Greater Missouri and Southern Illinois to Represent Missouri and Illinois at JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress

-- Delegates are among 160 kids from across the U.S. to advocate for type 1 diabetes research in Washington, D.C. --

St. Louis, MO, June 11, 2019— 3 children from Greater Missouri and Southern Illinois were chosen by JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, to join a delegation of their peers and celebrity advocates in Washington, D.C. this summer at JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress from July 8-10. Morgan Steckel, 10, Jaden Hillemann, 13, and Isaac Carey, 14 will join more than 160 other children from around the U.S. to lobby their Members of Congress and remind them of the vital need to support T1D research that could reduce the burden of this disease and ultimately find a cure.

These children—ages 4 to 17, and representing all 50 states—will participate in a number of activities on the Hill, including a Congressional Committee hearing to share personal testimonies that highlight the challenges of living with T1D and the need for continued funding for research projects such as the Special Diabetes Program (SDP).

Joining the U.S. Delegates will be five International Delegates traveling from Australia, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Together, the Delegates will help to convey to the Federal Government that T1D is a global problem that requires a global effort. 

“Every day these children and their parents face the burden of type one diabetes and by sharing their stories they become powerful advocates in the fight to end this disease,” said Sarah Simpson, Development Director for the Greater Missouri and Southern Illinois chapter. “The Delegates are a representation of millions of other families who need the support of the government. Children’s Congress gives the T1D youth community a unified voice in front of Congress and a way to urge our government leaders to continue supporting research.”

“I'm not the only one in my family with diabetes; my dad, his cousin Rob and my Papa do too.  Going to Washington DC is important because it gives me a voice, I can tell members of Congress what it's like to have diabetes so they know how important it is to continue to fund research for new treatments and one day a cure”, said Morgan Steckel. 

Serving as Chair for JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress will be Katama Eastman of New York, NY, whose 15-year-old daughter, Merrill was diagnosed with T1D at 15 months. Eastman is Board President of the JDRF New York City / Long Island Chapter. As Chair of the event, she will help engage, support and energize all these Delegates and their families during the advocacy efforts up on Capitol Hill.

For a video of highlights from JDRF 2017 Children’s Congress, please click here.

 

 

About JDRF Children’s Congress

JDRF Children’s Congress was inspired by (then) eight-year-old Tommy Solo from Massachusetts, in 1999. He overheard adult JDRF volunteers talking about going to Washington, D.C. to talk to Congress and thought it was important that children go, too, and make their voices heard. JDRF Children’s Congress inspires national lawmakers to remember the children who live with T1D when making decisions about medical research funding and voting on other important Federal Government issues relating to diabetes. The young Delegates’ personal stories, told in their own words, are often more powerful than almost any other type of education a legislator and staff can receive.

Tommy’s idea quickly became a well-developed event, first held in 1999. Since then, JDRF Children’s Congress has occurred every other year.

To learn more about JDRF Children’s Congress, please visit http://cc.jdrf.org/.

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF

Media Contact:

Kayla Taszarek, 314-748-7063, ktaszarek@jdrf.org

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