Advocacy Blog

Years of Advocacy Experience Under One Intern’s Belt

Young Anna with her insulin pump while fishing one day!

Young Anna with her insulin pump while fishing!

Last Friday, we introduced you to Mia, one of the JDRF Advocacy office’s three summer interns! This week, we are featuring Anna. Anna has been involved with JDRF Advocacy for years and we are glad she is with us this summer! Meet Anna!

This summer I have been extremely fortunate to have been chosen as one of JDRF Advocacy’s interns. Working for an organization as phenomenal as JDRF is a privilege and is especially meaningful to me as a type 1 diabetic myself. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of 2, and have no memories of a life without diabetes. As so many diabetics and their parents can relate to, my life became a constant balancing act of needle pokes, glucose tablets, and doctors’ appointments. Managing my diabetes became easier when the insulin pump became available, but controlling my blood glucose was still a huge burden. I struggled with hypoglycemia-induced seizures for a period of time after my diagnosis even after being put on the insulin pump.

Anna with Mary Tyler Moore at the first JDRF Children's Congress

Anna with Mary Tyler Moore at the first JDRF Children’s Congress

My family became involved with JDRF shortly after my diagnosis, and through it found an invaluable support network of other families affected by T1D. Two years after my diagnosis I was selected as the Montana Delegate for the first-ever session of JDRF Children’s Congress, held in 1999, which kindled my passion for advocacy work towards finding a cure for T1D. My family and I have made lasting friendships with other families affected by T1D through the walks, rides, and other events that we have done throughout the years.

This past spring I attended JDRF 2014 Government Day, which was one of the most inspiring experiences I have ever had. Listening to the stories of other diabetics and parents of diabetics and learning about the new developments in technology and treatments only motivated me further to work towards finding a cure for T1D. During JDRF Government Day I met with both of the Senators from my home state and explained to them the necessity of renewing the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) and how many positive developments had resulted from the program. It was very empowering to share my story during JDRF Government Day, and it was thrilling to hear that the Special Diabetes Program was renewed by Congress for another year. I am so excited to be an intern this summer in Washington, D.C., and continue to work towards finally finding a cure for T1D!

One thought on “Years of Advocacy Experience Under One Intern’s Belt

  1. Sandra Silvestri

    So thrilled to see the beautiful young woman you have grown to be. I remember finding you and your family for the first Children’s Congress in Yellowstone (!) and how committed and determined your family was to helping find a cure!
    It is so exciting to see the long term effects on children’s lives from an effort started 15 years ago. Keep the train going!
    Please send my love to your family!!

    Sandra Silvestri

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