WASHINGTON D.C. (Nexstar) – Young Type 1 diabetes patients from all 50 states went to the U.S. capitol Wednesday to fight for a cure.
“In elementary school, I was sometimes teased for being different or always being with the nurse,” said Adriana Richard, a Type 1 Diabetes Patient from Pennsylvania.
Adriana Richard was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was five years old.
Now 16, she’s proud to show off the insulin pump…which keeps her alive.
“It gives me the insulin I need to keep going. Sometimes there’s highs where I have to get more insulin and lows where I have to eat more food.”
Richard, along with more than 100 other children living with type 1 diabetes from all 50 states, came to Washington to ask lawmakers to renew the Special Diabetes Program, which is set to expire in September.
If that happens, it would cut off the $150 million dollars used to fund type 1 diabetes research every year.
“If we stop now, all of the trials and stuff would stop.”
The push to help cure diabetes comes at a time when the cost to treat it is at an all-time high.
Actor Victor Garber joined the kids on Capitol Hill.
“The idea that someone has to ration insulin in 2019 due to greed and avarice is unconscionable,” said Garber.
Garber has lived with type 1 diabetes his entire life.
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D) recently introduced legislation that would specifically help cover the care and insulin costs for these patients.
“We still have a long way to go on these issues. We’re not where we need to be,” said Casey.
But Casey says younger voices like Richard’s bring an urgency to the issue that no legislator can.
“Just like normal teenagers with extra responsibilities,” said Richard.
One of those being to save diabetes research.
For more information about JDRF Children’s Congress, click here.