Megan Reflects on Children's Congress 2013 (CC13)
"Hi again JDRF Canada! Capitol Blitz training on Tuesday went very well, we received our speaking notes and had any questions about the programs we were lobbying funding for answered. We were looking for the US government to continue funding for the SDP (Special Diabetes Program). The SDP has provided $150 million dollars (US) to diabetes research projects over the past two years. If anyone has further questions regarding the SDP, feel free to send me a message or comment below. From then on it was a blur of activities leading up to early Wednesday morning, Capitol Hill Blitz day!
Like the Kids for a Cure on Parliament Hill, the delegates were asked to create a scrapbook talking about their story (i.e. how diabetes has affected your life, when you were diagnosed, hobbies etc.). These scrapbooks were to be presented to and given to the Senators and Representatives of the various states we were meeting with. The purpose of this was to give the people making decisions on the abilities of many research programs a face and story to remember who they're affecting when they say yes or no. They were also a great way to keep the conversation rolling.
I accompanied Caroline on her meetings, and I was able to present my scrapbook to one of the representatives from New Hampshire. They were all very kind, and every person we met with agreed to sign their support. We were able to get a very unique inside look at how Capitol Hill functions. In between the different blocks, there are underground tunnels! They have a little trolley that goes back and forth, which we had the privilege of riding on!
After our meetings were finished, we were told to meet on the Senate side to have a photo op with a "special guest". Our special guest turned out to be Vice President Biden! This was a very exciting experience. The hearing was the final activity of CC13. Here, there was a research scientist, a father of a diabetic and a diabetic presenting and answering questions about type 1 diabetes (T1D) for representatives and senators who were curious, and assured those who had agreed to give support that their decision was a good one.
Overall, JDRF's Children's Congress 2013 was the best experience of my life, and I'd like to thank everyone who made it possible and helped out along the way."