Crystal Bowersox, local celebrity, American Idol runner up, and children's diabetes advocate visited with Rep. Marcy Kaptur Tuesday to discuss juvenile diabetes as part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's "Children's Congress." Joining Rep. Kaptur and Bowersox was teenager William Beebe, a freshman entering St. John's Jesuit High School.
Both Bowersox and Beebe have diabetes.
"Everyone knows someone with diabetes -- a relative, a neighbor, or a coworker. We can not rest until we find a solution to improve the quality of life for millions of people," said Kaptur. "I commend William and Crystal for carrying the cause of diabetes research to the highest levels."
The "Children's Congress" is a biennial three day event that brings together youth delegates from around America to share their experiences and lobby federal officials for diabetes research funding.
"Type I diabetes is a potentially fatal autoimmune disease that affects as many as three million children and adults in America," said Bowersox. "Insulin is no cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent complications that can include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation."
Bowersox and Beebe urged Rep. Kaptur and other federal officals to take action to accelerate the regulatory process at the Food and Drug Administration for review of the artificial pancreas systems, which hold promise for transforming the lives of type I diabetics. They also advocated for continued federal research and thanked Congress for renewing last December the Special Diabetes Program, which accounts for one third of all federal research into type I diabetes.
Bowersox and Beebe also visited with Ohio senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman while on Capitol Hill Tuesday.