Four Local Young People selected for JDRF 2013 Children’s Congress

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Four Local Young People selected for JDRF 2013 Children’s Congress 

— Delegates selected from a pool of nearly 1,500 applicants with type 1 diabetes —

Pittsburgh – June 21, 2013—The Western PA Chapter of JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) will be sending a unique delegation to Washington, D.C. this summer. Caroline Simms, 13 from Butler, PA; Hannah Szczesny, 12 from Erie, PA; and Adam (16) & Molly (12) Hull, of Martinsburg, WV have been selected by JDRF to join 150 other children from around the country to remind their Members of Congress of the vital need to continue supporting research that aims to reduce the burden they all share, of living with 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 them will 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, affects everyone in the organization. “It’s a really exciting time for all of us,” says Carol Yannuzzi, Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter. “It’s amazing to see so many kids gather together around a cause that’s close to their hearts. Just because they’re young doesn’t mean they can make a big difference. We can’t wait to hear about the amazing stories our delegates will have to bring back to us.” It is an honor to be chosen for Children’s Congress, as each child must go through a rigorous application process.

Children’s Congress 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 T1D 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 the disease, and the importance of supporting and funding T1D research. 

About Children’s Congress

The JDRF Children’s Congress program 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 would be great if children could go, too, because their voice also needed to be heard. Children’s Congress inspires lawmakers to remember the children who live with T1D when making decisions about medical research and voting on other important federal issues relating to diabetes. The young delegates’ stories, told in their own words, are often more powerful than almost any other type of legislator education.

The idea quickly became a well-developed event, first held in 1999. Since then, seven successful Children’s Congresses have occurred, growing in sophistication, one every other year (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011). For a video of highlights from the 2011 Children’s Congress, click here.

Today, Children’s Congress brings 150 children with T1D, and one parent or guardian each, to Washington, D.C. Children’s Congress participants represent all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and several countries around the world. They come together as advocates to meet on Capitol Hill with Members of Congress and other key federal policymakers, to help educate them about the critical need for federal funding of T1D research.

To learn more about JDRF Children’s Congress, please visit our website at

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.

As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries. In 2012 alone, JDRF provided more than $110 million to T1D research. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. In 2012 Forbes magazine named JDRF one of its five All-Star charities, citing the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.

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