My name is Victoria Vorholt and I am excited to be interning with JDRF Advocacy this summer in Washington. I am from Louisville, Kentucky and I currently attend Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I am majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and volunteer my time as an EMT. My future plans include attending medical school and continuing my advocacy for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.
The course of my life changed dramatically when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on my first day of 6th grade in 2005. My family and I first knew something was wrong when I attended Space Camp at the end of the summer. Instead of spending the week looking forward to each activity, I spent it eagerly awaiting the next mealtime due to my intense hunger. We had to stop 10 times for me to go to the restroom on the five hour drive from Alabama to Kentucky. My mom scheduled a doctor’s appointment that led to a three-day hospital stay where nurses gave me a crash course in my new life with diabetes.
JDRF has been a constant source of support for my family and me throughout my initial diagnosis and in the 10 years since. My family began “Team Victoria” and participated in our local JDRF Walk each year, both educating our friends and receiving donations from them. I also had the opportunity to represent Kentucky as a Delegate at JDRF 2009 Children’s Congress. That summer at Children’s Congress I was able to see all the hard work that JDRF directs toward finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.
In addition to learning about how the Federal Government works and meeting with my Members of Congress, I also had my first opportunity to spend time with other kids with diabetes. Growing up, I was the only student with diabetes at my school and I felt that my peers would never truly understand the daily struggles I face with the disease. JDRF Children’s Congress gave me the opportunity to be a part of a community of people who not only cared, but also understood life with diabetes.
I am delighted to be returning to JDRF Children’s Congress this year as an intern. I hope to help make the conference as great of an event for the Delegates attending this year as it was for me six years ago. I am excited to learn more about how JDRF Advocacy makes real change in the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes through legislative and grassroots efforts. My life would certainly be different without the direct and indirect support of JDRF, and I am thrilled to be joining the JDRF team this summer!