We sent Katie to camp and she continues to raise awareness.
Katie, called to Congress
by Katie Ervin
I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2006 at the age of 8. Since my diagnoses I have tried to make the best out of a bad situation. My family and I decided that we really wanted to do everything we could to help raise funds to find a cure so that is what we are doing.
In 2010 the American Diabetes Association, ADA, pick up a necklace I designed for their Gift of Hope catalog. They sold over 2500 pieces making it the bestselling item they have ever had. All of the net proceeds go to diabetes research. Also in 2010, I was the ADA’s co-Youth Ambassador for the Chicago land area. This gave me an opportunity to speak to hundreds of people about diabetes. It was a great experience.
I have been Lobbying my legislators in the state of Illinois since 2009 to try to get bills passed and put a face to diabetes. It is really interesting and exciting to be able to meet with my legislators and tell them my story, educate them about diabetes and ask them for more funding for research. I was even able to be a Page-for-the day in the House of Representatives in April!
On March 10 I went to Washington D.C to speak to my congressional members. I was chosen for the ADA’s Call to Congress to represent the 800,000 diabetics in the state of Illinois. My first meeting was with my two state senators at a press conference. This was an usually occurrence because one is democratic and the other was republican. During the conference Jared, a friend with diabetes, and I got up in front of everybody and and told them how we found our diabetes. It was a great experience being able to talk to people about diabetes. After that we had separate meetings with different representative in our state and district. Those meetings gave us the opportunity to talk to the people face to face and tell them my story and why we were there to talk to them. As we finished, we gave them a packet full of information about diabetes and about the funding for diabetes research. We were there to ask the representatives for funding for diabetes and to make sure they didn’t’ cut money for diabetes research for the physical year 2011and 2012. Putting a face to disease is the reason why we were there and diabetes is very important. Being part of Call to Congress was a great opportunity and was total worth doing it and will hopefully help with not getting them to cut back financially.
My wish, of course, is that they find a cure for this disease but until then, I, like Bret, will do all I can do to spread awareness and raise funds!
Thank you Bret for sending me to diabetes camp!