Deliver Your News to the World

Odessa Child Jacob Rivers, 11, Goes to Washington, D.C. as Florida Delegate for Children’s Congress 2009


Odessa Child Jacob Rivers, 11, Goes to Washington, D.C. as Florida Delegate for Children’s Congress 2009
Child Delegates to Testify at Congressional Hearing on Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes and
Urge Legislators to “Promise to Remember Me”

St. Petersburg, Florida, April, 2009 – Jacob Rivers, age 11, is one of 150 children throughout the U.S. selected to represent his state on Capitol Hill this summer to remind Congress and the Administration of the critical need to find a cure for a disease they live with every day— type 1 (juvenile) diabetes.
These children—ages 4 to 17, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia and all diagnosed with type 1 diabetes—will converge on Washington, D.C., to tell their stories and urge lawmakers to help find a cure during the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Children’s Congress 2009, from June 22 to 24, 2009. Jacob, who lives in Odessa, has been named a delegate representing Florida in the Children’s Congress. JDRF is the world’s largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research.
Led by JDRF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore, JDRF’s Children’s Congress 2009 will include Congressional visits by the child delegates and a Congressional hearing where Ms. Moore, select delegates, researchers, and business and community leaders will testify on the need for continued funding for research on diabetes and related complications. Ms. Moore and the child delegates, under the theme of “Promise to Remember Me,” will ask Members of Congress to support an increase in federal funding for diabetes research.
“The day that you or your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is a day you will never forget,” said Ms. Moore, who has had type 1 diabetes for almost 40 years. “Members of Congress will now have the chance to give these children and their parents another day they will never forget. Instead, this time will be a day of hope instead of a day of fear”.

Children’s Congress 2009, page 2
Jacob, who was selected to Children’s Congress through JDRF’s Tampa Bay Chapter, was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 4 years old. The day-to-day fight to stay alive is a struggle for him and his family.
“When people see me, they see a healthy kid because I am so active,” says Jacob. “But they don’t see what I have to go through every single day of my life to manage my disease. Diabetes never leaves me and I take it with me every day, every where I go. I can’t wait to get to Washington to tell my story and do my part in finding a cure.”
Cynthia Ford, of Grosse Point Farms, Michigan is Chair of Children’s Congress 2009. Ms. Ford, her husband Edsel and son Albert, who has type 1 diabetes, serve as the designated Chair Family.
“Our entire family understands what a vital role this event plays in the furthering of our mission to cure diabetes. We are honored and excited to be leading such an extraordinary group of delegates who truly will have all the Washington leaders knowing they need to ’Promise to Remember’ all of us who crave a true cure for diabetes and its complications"
Over 1,500 children from all 50 states between the ages of 4 and 17 applied to take part in Children’s Congress 2009. Children were selected by committee based on the need for focus in their Congressional district and in a way that divided the group evenly by ages. “Choosing the 150 delegates from the pool of over 1,500 applicants this Children’s Congress was a difficult process and a challenge,” said Ford. “Truly, all 1,500 who applied would have served this role well.”
Children’s Congress has been held every other year since 1999; it has become the largest media and grassroots event held in support of finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. For this once-in-a-lifetime experience, the newly-selected delegates will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors in raising national awareness about type 1 diabetes and participating in personal advocacy at the highest levels of the United States government.
In type 1 diabetes – the most serious and complicated form of the disease that accounts for some $174 billion in annual health care costs in the U.S. alone – a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that enables people to get energy from food.
To survive, people with type 1 diabetes must test their blood sugar levels up to four or more times a day by pricking their fingers to draw blood, and then administering insulin through multiple, daily injections, or the use of a continuous infusion insulin pump. While trying to balance insulin with the amount of food eaten (which raises blood sugar) and exercise (which lowers blood sugar), people with type 1 diabetes must constantly be prepared for potential life-threatening hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions. The long-term complications of diabetes include blindness, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, nerve damage and amputations. While usually diagnosed in childhood, type 1 diabetes can also be diagnosed in adults.
About JDRF
JDRF is the leader in research leading to a cure for type 1 diabetes in the world. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide.

The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly, and can be fatal. Until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections multiple times or use a pump – each day, every day of their lives. And even with that intensive care, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.

Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.3 billion to diabetes research, including more than $156 million in FY2008. In FY2008, the Foundation funded more than 1,000 centers, grants in laboratories, hospitals, and industry, and fellowships in 22 countries.
For more information, visit the JDRF web site at or call 800-533-CURE.


 Juvenile Diabetes
 Type 1 Diabetes

This news content may be integrated into any legitimate news gathering and publishing effort. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.