Diabetes advocate Nicholas Jonas chatted with POLITICO about testifying before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation [JDRF]: ‘I was just happy to be able to share my story and hope to inspire others to do the same.’
Nick helped transform his fellow diabetics into a motivated group of grass-roots activists who sat down to talk with their representatives on Capitol Hill, according to JDRF officials. Sen. Susan Collins worked with JDRF’s Children’s Congress for her fifth time this year and noticed the impact Nick had:
‘Having special guest witnesses, such as Nick Jonas, actress Mary Tyler Moore and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard helps draw media attention to this serious illness. But, and this is especially the case with Nick Jonas, they are great role models for children who live with Type 1 diabetes. Nick was gracious enough to spend time talking to the young delegates and showing them that it is possible to lead a healthy, productive life while living with this disease.’
Nick met with Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and now more than 170 members have been in contact with JDRF to help it gather co-sponsors for a House bill, the first step to renew the legislation at a funding level of $200 million annually.
Nick said: ‘Getting key members of Congress involved is crucial to making big things happen for diabetics around the world.. I hope to come back once again to help raise awareness. What is important is that we were able to raise awareness and hopefully in the new year we will be able to see continued progress.’