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Shaheen continues to lead fight against diabetes during JDRF’s Children’s Congress

(Senator Shaheen recognizes Caroline Carter of Dover, NH for her selection as a 2013 JDRF Children’s Congress delegate. July 10, 2013. Washington DC)

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today hosted Caroline Carter of Dover, New Hampshire at a luncheon in Washington as part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) Children’s Congress, a national effort designed to spread awareness and raise support for diabetes research. Caroline, who will be a sophomore at St. Thomas Aquinas in the fall, is one of 150 delegates selected from across the country to meet with members of Congress in Washington to discuss their experiences living with diabetes.

During her time with Senator Shaheen, Caroline spoke about the impact of the disease on her and her family and learned about Shaheen’s work as co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus to help spread awareness and find a cure. Shaheen has worked extensively to raise support for diabetes research and has also felt the effect of the disease in her own family. Shaheen’s granddaughter Elle was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was eight years old.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with Caroline and discuss an issue that is so close to me and to my family,” Shaheen said. “I understand first-hand the issues that so many families face on a daily basis, and the true burden of the disease at all ages. The JDRF Children’s Congress is a terrific opportunity to draw national attention to the fight against diabetes. For Caroline and for children across the country, we must continue to invest in diabetes research to develop new, better treatments to help those living with this disease.”

Following their lunch, Senator Shaheen and Caroline attended a hearing hosted by the Senate Special Committee on Aging in conjunction with the JDRF titled “Diabetes Research: Reducing the Burden of Diabetes at All Ages and Stages”.  More than 160 Children’s Congress delegates and their guardians attended the hearing, which featured leading advocates for diabetes care, including Miami Heat star Ray Allen and Emmy-winning actress Jean Smart.

In addition to raising support for diabetes awareness, the Children’s Congress also serves as the kick-off of JDRF’s efforts to secure a three-year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program. The program, which grants funding to diabetes researchers, will expire next year if not reauthorized by Congress. With diabetes accounting for more than $174 billion of our nation’s annual health care costs, advances in diabetes research have the potential to translate into considerable savings for taxpayers. Shaheen has been a leader in supporting the Special Diabetes Program and has helped raise broad, bipartisan support for the program.

Shaheen has introduced several pieces of legislation designed to advance diabetes care and prevention, including the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Care Act and the Gestational Diabetes Act of 2011. She has also partnered with New England Patriot Vince Wilfork on two separate occasions to help raise diabetes awareness throughout New England.