Local youth to travel to D.C. to discuss Type 1 Diabetes with congress members

Anchorage, Alaska, June, 24, 2013—Tylar Ratliff, 14 of Anchorage has big plans for this summer. He has been selected by JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) to join 150 other children from around the country in Washington, D.C., to remind their Members of Congress of the vital need to continue supporting research that aims to reduce the burden they all share, of type 1 diabetes (T1D), until a cure becomes available.

These children—ages 4 to 17, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia—will visit the nation’s capital as delegates of the JDRF 2013 Children’s Congress from July 8 to 10. Joining themwill be six international delegates traveling from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The international delegates will partner with U.S. delegates to convey a clear message to the U.S. government that T1D is a global problem that requires a global effort. 

The event, held every other summer, will once again be led by JDRF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore, and will include congressional visits by the delegates and a Senate hearing, during which Ms. Moore and select delegates and advocates will testify on the need for continued funding for T1Dresearch, under the theme of “Promise to Remember Me.” This theme serves as a powerful call to lawmakers to remember the struggle of living with the disease, and the importance of supporting and funding T1D research. 

“These outstanding children and their families all understand, as I do, that type 1 diabetes tests us every day,” says Ms. Moore, who has had T1D for more than 40 years. “Children’s Congress gives all of us a voice to urge Congress to increase its support of research, which is essential to reducing the burden of this disease on us and on our country.”

Serving as chair for the 2013 Children’s Congress is Californian Angie Platt, who was in Washington, D.C. two years ago with her son Jonathan, now nine, a delegate for the 2011 Children’s Congress. As chair of the event, Angie will help engage, support, and energize the delegates and their families during the advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.

“Tylar was diagnosed in October of 2012 at the age of 13 with Type 1 Diabetes. It was a heartbreaking experience but I am so very proud of my son for taking this challenging disease and turning itinto something positive” says Tylar’s mom Christine. “Even through our toughest moments he continues to smile and take life in stride. His lifelong dream was to serve our country in the military, but now those dreams were dashed with his diagnosis. Instead of it destroying him he remains committed to finding a way to continue to serve his country by participating in this wonderful event through JDRF. Without JDRF, children and adults with Type 1 Diabetes would not have a voice, research or innovative treatments. We are truly grateful for all the work that the JDRF staff and volunteers do for Type 1 Diabetes, they truly feel like family to us”.

JDRF press release