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Congress Hears Testimony from Children on Juvenile Diabetes

Posted - Jul. 9, 2003 at 10:20 a.m.



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In hopes of putting a face on juvenile diabetes, children from all over the country recently headed to Washington to speak to congress.

Dr. Mulvihill introduces us to one of the children, a little girl named Kristin.

Like most five-year-old girls, Kristin Weinman likes playing with her toys and dressing up.

But when Kristin was just two and a half, her mother began to notice odd symptoms.

Alicia Weinman/ Kristin's Mother: "She had very strong breath, a toddler with really fruitty breath, the rash that didn't want to go away, saturated diapers."

She was diagnosed with juvenile or type one diabetes. Since then she's had to get used to regular blood sugar checks and use a pump to deliver the insulin her body no longer produces.

For Kristin's family, diabetes has been a constant struggle.

Alicia: "It impacts every part of your daily life, and your family's life, and to see her be brave, really have to struggle through this, is not fun."

So Kristin and her mother are traveling to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress.

They want to put a face on a disease they live with every day.. to help raise awareness and funding for research.

Mark Fischer-Colbrie JDRF: "We have made some good progress but there is a long way to go."

Mark Fischer-Colbrie is with the juvenile diabetes research foundation.

"We are calling on the National Institutes of Health to increase spending and investment in diabetes research."

"It's not fun having diabetes is it?" "Nope." "Do you wish it would go away?" "Yeah, but the wishes don't come true."

The goal is simple... to find a cure.

Alicia: "It would mean that basically Kristin would get back the life she was born to live without diabetes. It would mean jubilation. It would be the greatest cause for celebration."

The trip was sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. One area of research that holds tremendous promise is islet cell transplantation.

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