Two local high school students, including Chesterfield resident Ashley Whipple, were chosen by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation [JDRF] to join a delegation of children and celebrity advocates at the JDRF 2017 Children’s Congress in Washington, D.C., this summer. Whipple, age 16, joined approximately 160 other U.S. children with type 1 diabetes [T1D] in lobbying congressmen about the vital need to support T1D research.
Whipple and her fellow delegates attended a variety of activities on Capitol Hill, including a Congressional Committee hearing where they shared personal testimonies highlighting the daily struggles of living with T1D.
Whipple is particularly passionate about helping others with T1D gain access to the tools she uses to live a healthier life.
“Imagine if everyone who had diabetes could receive a continuous glucose monitor,” she said. “That would substantially cut down on the cost of medical expenses for a large portion of our nation.”
JDRF Children’s Congress was inspired in 1999 by 8-year-old Tommy Solo from Massachusetts, who overheard adult JDRF volunteers talking about going to Washington, D.C., to talk to Congress. Solo thought it was important that children go, too, and make their voices heard. Solo’s idea quickly became a well-developed event that has occurred every other year since 1999.