Sports and Entertainment Stars Converge on Capitol Hill to Advocate for Research Funding and Policies that Support the Type 1 Diabetes Community

Former UW Huskies standout Isaiah Stanback’s mission to empower student-athletes
May 23, 2019

Celebrities join more than 160 youth Delegates at JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress to meet with Congress

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — For three action-packed days, leaders in television, film and sports will join more than 160 youth Delegates from across the United States and five countries in our nation’s capital. They will meet with Members of Congress, and their staff to talk about what life with type 1 diabetes (T1D) is like, and what they can do to support the T1D community. Hosted by JDRF, the leading global organization funding T1D research, celebrities and Delegates will urge Congress to renew the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) that currently provides $150 million annually to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This program has made a real difference in the lives of people with T1D, and has funded leaps forward in diabetes management, research to prevent complications and offered a deeper understanding of what causes T1D, bringing us closer to cures.

JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress will take place from July 8-10, and will include Lauren CoxBaylor University Women’s Basketball Player and 2019 NCAA Champion; Victor Garber, Emmy® and Tony® nominated actor; Christina Martin, professional dancer, motivational speaker and American Ninja WarriorRyan Reed, NASCAR Driver; Adam Schefter, sports broadcaster and NFL Analyst for ESPN; Isaiah Stanback, fitness expert, motivational speaker and NFL Super Bowl Champion; Jennifer Stone, actress; Derek Theler, actor; and Fiona Wylde, professional stand-up paddler and windsurfer.

On Tuesday, July 9, a town hall will unite the Delegates with the guest celebrities, who will share their experiences of managing the disease while pursuing their professional dreams.

 “We’re honored to have the support of such passionate and talented individuals who demonstrate each day how they’re achieving their dreams and living full, robust lives despite the challenges of T1D,” said JDRF President and CEO Aaron Kowalski Ph.D. “What’s even more remarkable is their commitment to using the power of their voices to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes, and to advocate for continued research funding, that leads us to better treatments and ultimately, closer to cures.”

Held biennially since 1999, JDRF Children’s Congress has become one of the most powerful advocacy events on Capitol Hill and the largest media and grassroots advocacy effort held in support of T1D research.

In addition to meeting with Congress, The Delegates – competitively selected from hundreds of applicants – will have the opportunity to share their experiences with other T1D youth, to interact with influential T1D role models, to develop their growing interest in advocacy and learn new leadership skills.

“Children’s Congress is an event that lawmakers also look forward to, as it offers them a chance to meet with young constituents and see how their votes profoundly impact individual lives,” Kowalski said.

About T1D
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.

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