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Article updated: 6/26/2013 11:40 AM

Local Teen to Represent Type 1 Diabetes in Washington D.C.

By

Emily Laughead of North Aurora, age 14, has been selected to attend JDRF's Children's Congress 2013, in Washington D.C. July 8 -10. In 2003 Emily was diagnosed at age 4 with Type 1 Diabetes. She has done a lot to raise awareness and educate people about what is it like to live with the disease. In 2005 Emily and her family created Emily's Hope, Type 1 Diabetes Education and Awareness. Www.EmilysHope.org. Since her diagnosis Emily has raised $56,000 for JDRF to cure Type 1 Diabetes. She has participated in many parades, festivals, sidewalk sales, garages sales and delivered countless speeches in the last 10 years to educate and raise awareness for Type 1 Diabetes. She is currently enrolled at Rosary High School in Aurora and will be a sophomore in the Fall.

What is Children's Congress?

The biannual Children's Congress event will bring more than 160 children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and their families to Washington, D.C., to meet with their Members of Congress and staff. By traveling to D.C. and meeting with lawmakers, children and young adults living with T1D get the opportunity to put a very personal face to the disease, showing our elected officials just how T1D affects them daily -- while reminding them just how important it is that we continue funding research.

The Children's Congress event week consists of Hill visits to respective offices, a legislative hearing about continued T1D research funding, a town hall style event with JDRF celebrity advocates, and of course, the important opportunity for JDRF's delegates and their families to build relationships within the T1D community itself. Additionally, the relationships built between T1D advocates and their Members of Congress are meant to last, as advocates help remind Congressional Members the importance of uninterrupted federal funding for type 1 research through the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and beyond.

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