Chicopee boy selected as JDRF Children’s Congress rep.
SPRINGFIELD Joshua Fish, 11, of Chicopee was selected as a representative at Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) Children’s Congress 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Fish is among approximately 150 children and teenagers selected from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants throughout the U.S. for this year’s event, which took place June 20 to 22. During the Children’s Congress, he represented his state and country and remind Congress and the Administration of the critical need to find better treatments and a cure for a disease he lives with every day type 1 diabetes.
JDRF’s Children’s Congress, which has taken place every other year since 1999, has become the largest media and grassroots advocacy event held in support of finding better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes. Fish will help raise national awareness for type 1 diabetes and participate in personal advocacy at the highest level of the United States government.
Joining Fish in Washington, D.C. will be seven international delegates from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Israel, Mexico, 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 diabetes is a global problem that requires a global effort.
The event is led by JDRF’s International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore, and will include Congressional visits by the child delegates and a Senate hearing during which Moore, select delegates, researchers and community leaders will testify on the need for continued funding for type 1 diabetes research, under the theme of “Promise to Remember Me.” This theme serves as a powerful call to lawmakers to remember the struggle of living with type 1 diabetes, and the importance of supporting and funding type 1 diabetes research.
“All of the children and their families can confirm with me that type 1 diabetes tests our will and determination to live a normal life,” Moore said, who has had type 1 diabetes for about 40 years. “With Children’s Congress, we are able to put faces to a disease that places an enormous toll on our nation. It is also a reminder for Congress that their partnership in the fight to find better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes is essential and has helped to drive research progress to date.”
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that turns food into energy. To stay alive, people with type 1 must continually test their blood sugar and receive insulin through multiple insulin injections daily or via a pump attached to their body.
Although life-sustaining, insulin is not a cure nor does it prevent the complications associated with the disease, including kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputations, heart attack and stroke. More than 24 million Americans are affected by some form of diabetes.
As many as 3 million Americans may have type 1 diabetes. Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults - approximately 80 people per day are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the U.S. and currently there is no cure for the disease.
To learn more about JDRF’s Children’s Congress, visit http://cc.jdrf.org