Haley Van Schaick, Ryan Gold and Aaron Gold, all of whom have type 1 diabetes, participated in a meeting with U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach in Washington, DC, to advocate for diabetes research funds.
The three — all patients of the Diabetes Center for Children at The Hospital of Philadelphia — were part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Government Day on March 15, 2011. On that day, hundreds of citizens met with U.S. senators and congressional representatives to encourage more funding for diabetes research.
Haley, 16 (diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11) is on both a pump and a continuous glucose monitor. She writes about her day, “I was telling them about how even though these machines are great, they are not perfect and they are in no way a cure. I mentioned the scars that diabetes leaves on my body and how one day it would be nice to look at myself without that remembrance. “
Ryan and Aaron ask for support
Ryan, and his twin brother, Aaron, both 9 years old, were diagnosed a year and a half apart from each other.
Both boys write, “We were asking the congressmen to support a bill for the artificial pancreas. We also asked them not to cut the budget that supports diabetes. They seemed supportive and hopefully will sign the bill.”
Learning through advocacy
Haley was also encouraged and said, “I had an amazing time doing the JDRF government day. It was fun, and I learned a lot.
"I think by going we made a huge difference," she adds. "Through learning about the artificial pancreas and learning about the cure funding, I have no doubt in my mind that one day I will be diabetes free.”
We thank Haley, Ryan and Aaron for taking the time to meet with their U.S. Representatives. We hope that the time spent in Washington pays off and that one day there will be a cure for diabetes.
Originally posted: September 2011