Every two years, JDRF International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore and over a hundred children with type 1 diabetes gather in Washington, D. C. to meet face-to-face with some of the top decision-makers in the U.S. government. The children, ages 4 to 17, represent all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As participants in JDRF’s Children’s Congress, they have a unique and empowering opportunity to help Members of Congress understand what life with type 1 diabetes is like and why research to find the cure for diabetes and its complications is so critical.
JDRF 2015 Children’s Congress will take place on July 13-15, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Welcome Messages for JDRF 2013 Children’s Congress
The JDRF Children’s Congress program was inspired by a boy from Massachusetts named Tommy Solo when he was 8 years old. He heard some adult JDRF volunteers talking about going to Washington, D.C., to talk to Congress and thought it would be great if kids could go, too, because no one knows better what it’s like to live with type 1 diabetes than kids who have it.
The group of volunteers thought it was a brilliant idea and quickly got to work developing the event, which was first held in 1999. Since then, six successful Children’s Congresses have occurred, one every other year (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013). Media coverage of the event–an integral key to its success–has grown with the event’s sophistication. In 2011, Children’s Congress generated 294 print stories (print and online), 117 television stories, and 3,548 radio station airings throughout the country, including national outlets and outlets in designated legislative priority areas. Print reached 9.2 million impressions, online stories reached 13 million impressions, and broadcast numbers (TV and radio) reached 7 million viewers and listeners.