Beth McCrary, our Advocacy Team Chair (ATC) for the JDRF Palmetto Chapter in South Carolina, is no stranger to the type 1 diabetes (T1D) world. Beth has three loved ones personally connecting her to T1D: her daughter, her nephew, and her nephew’s wife. When her daughter Hannah was diagnosed in 2008 at age seven, Beth was immediately introduced to JDRF. Within the first hour of Hannah’s admittance to the hospital, her family was delivered a Bag of Hope, thus beginning Beth’s involvement with JDRF.
Right away, Beth began volunteering at her local JDRF Chapter assisting with their Walks and Galas, in addition to other events. Then in 2011 she became a part of the broader JDRF Advocacy community, though unbeknownst to her at the time. Beth had received a surprising email saying she was chosen to take part in the annual JDRF Government Day event, to be held in Washington, D.C. that spring. After attending the event, Beth describes herself as becoming ‘absolutely hooked,’ and she knew that Government Day had become her favorite JDRF event.
Beth has been a strong voice since that day for prioritizing advocacy back at her local Chapter. There is no greater reward for Beth than meeting with other T1D families on a local level, as well as providing them an opportunity to meet with their own Members of Congress and staffers, and empowering them to share their personal stories of living with type one. Beth says, “Not everyone can go to Washington, but everyone CAN share their story, which at its core is what advocacy is all about.”
Beth has had many triumphs and accomplishments as a JDRF Advocate. From persuading Members of Congress to sign onto letters and bills supporting JDRF’s priority policy initiatives, to having 100% of the JDRF Promise to Remember Me campaign Congressional meetings scheduled AND completed for the very first time. That feeling of connecting with families: “letting people know we’re building a stronger advocacy network that will get us the treatments and advances, and ultimately the cure we all want,” means being a bridge to action for Beth. That critical work provides hope for others, and is what drives Beth to continue to devote so much of her time and energy to helping JDRF Advocacy.
Her six-word advocacy memoir is simple: Energizing, Empowering, Essential, Fulfilling, Promising, & Life-Changing