Experiencing the Halls of Congress

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our morning started at 7 am with breakfast, followed by the JDRF staff passing out packets that we would deliver to our Senators and members of Congress,  and a quick review of  our message for the Hill Meetings.

So without further adieu we were are off to catch the Metro to Capitol Hill to roam the halls!   All politics aside, it is a humbling experience to walk the same halls that have been walked by so many men and women that have helped make this country what it is today!

My husband Bob and I had appointments with all five offices of the Orange County members of Congress.  Unfortunately, we  did not get to meet with any of the actual Members themselves, but did meet with their Legislative Assistants and/or Legislative Directors.

  • We told each one of them our personal story of how our grandson’s  diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes has impacted him and our family.
  • Thanks to many of our advocates at home and the Orange County Chapter’s Junior Ambassadors, we were also able to give each office a stack of letters from their own constituents telling their personal stories and how important a cure is to them.
  • We asked each of them if they or their member had any personal connection to Type 1
  • We reminded them that nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and that over $174 billion is spent on people with diabetes every year.    We then shared the fact that as a result of better management of diabetes, complications would be drastically reduced, not only would diabetics live longer, healthier lives,  burden on taxpayers would be reduced as well.
  • The Artificial Pancreas will enable people with diabetes to achieve tight blood glucose control and avoid both the highs and dangerous lows, and therefore significantly reduce the risk of complications.
  • We asked them to encourage their Member to sign the letter to the FDA Commissioner Hamburg highlighting the need for guidance on the Artificial Pancreas
  • We asked them to please support the highest funding possible for NIH (National Institute of Health) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
  • Congressmen Royce, Rohrabacher and Campbell are not members of the Diabetes Caucus so we told them who they could contact to join and learn more about this horrible disease.

The only one of Orange County’s five  Members  that approved the current renewal of the  Special Diabetes Program Funding was District 47’s Congresswoman, Loretta Sanchez.   We made sure to tell her legislative assistant, Jessica Fernandez to give her a special thank you for her help in keeping the research for our cure alive .  As we met with the other 4 representatives, we did not thank them personally, but we did  tell them that we want to thank CONGRESS for renewing the SDP!

Some of our other California Advocates, including our own Glenn Weber,  met with our 2 Senators, both of whom were members of the Diabetes Caucus, and they had also attached their signatures to the SDP!  (I can also add that both of our California Senators have put their signatures  on the letter to the FDA!!   However, not one of the Congressmen/women have as of today 4/4/11)

All of the meetings left us feeling very comfortable knowing that the Staff promised they would review all the information we had left with them and present it to their Congressman.

We concluded our last night in our Nations Capitol by celebrating with a group of extremely dedicated and passionate  California Advocates at a restaurant called Utopia.

GREAT COMPANY!! GREAT MEAL!!  GREAT GOVERNMENT DAY 2011~~

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Filed under Campbell, Government Day 2011, Junior Ambassador, Miller, Rohrabacher, Royce, Sanchez

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