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Meet Natalie Stanback: JDRF 2023 Children’s Congress Chair

Natalie Stanback isn’t new to fighting for the type 1 diabetes community. In 2019, she came to Washington DC with her daughter, Nadia to bring awareness to the importance of federal funding for T1D research. Last year, she briefed Congress on the real-world impact of the insulin affordability crisis. 

That’s why she’s the perfect person to serve as Chair at the JDRF 2023 Children’s Congress. She knows T1D; she knows Advocacy—and she knows how to get things done on Capitol Hill!

Along with her daughter, Nadia, who was a JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress Delegate, and her husband, Isaiah, a former NFL wide receiver, Natalie will lead 165 Delegates from all 50 states, along with 5 countries, to tell Congress what it’s like to live with T1D, and what they need to do to help.

“I am so excited to be Chair of JDRF 2023 Children’s Congress!” Natalie said. “Last time, we were awestruck by the event. We can’t wait to come back to Washington and continue this important work with all the Delegates.”

When Nadia was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 3, the diagnosis did not come out of the blue. Natalie’s brother, Michael, had been diagnosed 24 years prior. “Given my prior knowledge and experience, Nadia’s diagnosis was breathtaking but not as traumatic as it could have been,” Natalie said. Thankfully, Nadia is doing great. She’s active in sports and she is very involved in the daily management of her T1D.

Natalie still raves about JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress. Seeing the impact and feeling the power firsthand is the main reason they are coming back to chair the event.

“It was the best whirlwind that we’ll forever remember,” Natalie said. “We loved the panels, the information and the ability to DO something,” she continued. “It was such a tangible validation and inspiration. I hope that such is the experience and take-away for all of the families and Delegates.”

JDRF Children’s Congress is one of the most important things JDRF does. Founded in 1999, this event is one of the key drivers that advances JDRF’s Advocacy agenda. This event typically happens every other year, but it was canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19. Natalie and the Delegates are ready to make up for lost time!

This year, the focus will be on the Special Diabetes Program (SDP). This program currently provides $150 million annually to T1D research through the National Institutes of Health, the country’s premier medical research agency. The SDP also complements JDRF’s research efforts, allowing JDRF and the NIH to collaborate to advance T1D research as quickly as possible. This program is set to expire in September and renewing it is JDRF’s biggest priority—and the #1 job for the Delegates.

“The SDP is vital,” said Natalie. “By spreading awareness in the halls of Congress and meeting with our lawmakers, we can ensure the research made possible by this program continues. We will make sure the needs of the T1D community are heard loud and clear!”

The Delegates will also speak to the rest of JDRF’s advocacy agenda, which includes our efforts around insulin affordability.

“I am looking forward to encouraging other parents to hold on to hope, to count their blessings and to seek the silver linings in this journey,” Natalie said. “That their voices and efforts are meaningful and greatly impact JDRF’s progress and footprint. It will take all of us. We must keep going.”

Explore the JDRF 2023 Children’s Congress website to learn more about the event, the issues, meet the Delegates from each state, and more!

Watch a 2021 video from ABC’s Good Morning America about the Stanback Family.

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JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our strength lies in our exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D.