Thursday, March 1, 2012

Promises, Advocating and D.C.

One of the important parts of my position as the volunteer Advocacy Team Chair for my local JDRF chapter is to set up Promise Meetings with our district’s Congress people so advocates can tell their stories to our representatives and ask that they remember us when they go back to D.C. and vote on diabetes issues and funding.  The first of my two Promise Meetings happened last fall, and I completed my second one last week.


I’m lucky because the Congress people in my district are very supportive of diabetes issues and funding and they enjoy participating in Promise Meetings and hearing our stories.  I’m also lucky because my JDRF chapter is filled with a fabulous group of advocates.  I always have high hopes and expectations for our Promise Meetings, and the advocates who attend always go above and beyond.  It’s exciting to see the stories we tell making a real impact on the Representatives who will be back in Washington voting on things that are so important to our diabetes lives.

So my first Promise Meetings are all finished up . . . .  so what is next?  Well, on Saturday I’ll be heading down to D.C. to participate in my first JDRF Government Day (which is actually four days).  I’m very excited to meet JDRF advocates from around the country, as well as the JDRF Grassroots Team who has been teaching me the ropes of my Chair position.  I’m a little bit nervous, but I’m sure I’ll come back with tons of new ideas and inspirations.  I’ll be attending two days of sessions and training, and then I’ll be up on the Hill meeting with our representatives to talk about diabetes. 

I'm also really looking forward to the Research Update on Monday morning, which will be broadcast live via the JDRF USTREAM channel.  If you’re interested in catching the Research Update too, you can get more info from the Juvenation blog.

I love being a blogger and connecting with our community to support each other in our diabetes journey.  But I’m also starting to understand just how important it is to advocate to our government officials so they support funding for diabetes research and agencies like the FDA and the NIH.  If you’d like to become a JDRF Advocate too, you can sign up here.


  1. Karen, you rock on so many levels! Great work. I'm so glad that there are people like you who are willing to take that next step.

  2. best of luck for an amazing and empowering experience in DC. i look forward to hearing about it! and thanks for all the links!

  3. Glad to see you involved! Legislation and policy making needs real voices and people who care (which describes you!).

  4. hi Karen - I'm in DC as well (from WA state) - hope to meet up with you in person, and good luck with the legislative meetings!


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