At this same time in 2005, Holland and I were getting ready for Children's Congress — packing, reaching out to new advocates, talking to local media, practicing the "Promise to Remember Me" song for the performance on the lawn of Capitol Hill, and making sure we knew exactly what we would say to our state's lawmakers when we met with them. But truthfully, we had no idea what to expect. We had read every email, every letter that arrived in the mail and we had participated in every web chat. As ready as we were, nothing could have prepared us for Children's Congress and our experience once we arrived.
We were inspired the moment we stepped into the conference hall. Not only were we astounded by the passion of every child from every corner of the United States, but we had never seen so many children with diabetes assembled in one place before in our lives. Children young and old — not afraid to be involved and outspoken, not afraid to stand up and ask for a cure, not afraid to check a blood sugar and explain it, not afraid to tell his or her story of life with diabetes.
We made lifelong friends of all ages. Holland was only 6 at the time, but she stays in touch with countless other delegates from Kindergarteners to high school students. It is hard to repeat that bonding experience and it is even harder to explain it. I feel certain that the 2007 delegates will be as inspired and as motivated as we were when Children's Congress drew to a close. It is an experience I won’t soon forget and it is an experience Holland dreams of repeating.