Wednesday, March 12, 2014

#JDRFGovDay Highs and Lows

I always struggle to write up event recaps because I'm just not good at them.  I tend to draw a blank on what words to use other than “it was so awesome, you had to be there to understand”.  Great, huh?  So this time I’ll try the old bulleted list to attempt to describe my four days at JDRF Advocacy Government Day, where I joined about 150 other Advocacy Team Chairs and advocates from JDRF chapters around the country to bring our message to Capital Hill. 
  • HIGH:  Meeting with Senator Murphy and health staff from the offices of our Connecticut representatives to thank them for their continued support and to urge them to help ensure the Special Diabetes Program is renewed.  We explained how critical the $150 million dollars provided by the SDP to the NIH is for diabetes research.MurphyMeetingLOW:  A longer than expected walk to our very first meeting of the day, which brought on one of the lowest lows I’ve had in a very long time.  It left me feeling like I had been run over by a truck for the rest of the day.  But I did what any of us would do - sucked it up and powered through.  PWDs are STRONG!!  (Well, okay, I whined a lot too.  Maybe I'm not that strong.)
    low28
  • HIGH:  Walking into Congressman Courtney’s office and having his wonderful Health Aide not only recognize me on sight, but notice that  my hair was different and compliment me on it!  (The pictures don’t show it well, but I dyed it red last week.)  Knowing she remembers me and our previous meetings means we can jump right in with less background information and more important details each time we meet.capitalLOW:  During our meeting my CGM alarm went off a billion times due the a major rebound from my earlier 28.  (BEEP BEEP BEEP HIGH PREDICTED!!!  BEEP BEEP BEEP RISE RATE!!  BEEP BEEP BEEP HIGH!!!  BEEP BEEP BEEP OMG YOU ARE SO HIGH!!!)
    HIGH: Having a real example of life with diabetes to show the aide.
  • HIGH: During the final dinner we saw a cool new “something” that is hopefully headed for human clinical trials this year.OMGLOW:  It’s proprietary so I can’t show you or tell you anything more about it.  But trust me, it has very awesome potential!!
  • HIGH: Finally banishing some of my shyness and heading to the bar with great new friends.bar
    Left to Right: Marcus, Jonathan, Lisa, Deb and Ann.
    LOW:  Major sleep deprivation.  (Totally worth it though!!)
  • HIGH:  Reconnecting with old friends, some of which I met IRL for the first time.friends Clockwise from top:  Meghann; Kathy; Jeanne and Flat Robby; Beth; and Mellissa and JuicyMama.
    LOW:  Saying good-bye to them all when it was time to head home.
  • HIGH:  Knowing that I’m doing something to help make life better for everyone with Type 1 diabetes.YouCanDoThisTooHIGH: Letting you know how important it is for you to use your voice too!  Please sign up and become an advocate - it’s quick, easy and painless!  You’ll get a few action alerts through out the year with easy detailed instructions to email or call your representative and let them know how important diabetes funding is.  Please please please add your voice to our ranks here.
    LOW: This time there isn't one. Everybody wins!!

4 comments:

  1. What an awesome recap, Karen! Love the use of Highs and Lows to recap the experience, and as always I'm thankful that you (along with so many others) were there on the Hill advocating for all of us. And those Congressional staff meetings with real life D-scenarios = priceless moments of hands-on advocacy!

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  2. Karen - love the post! So thoughtful and heartfelt. We did have some fun, didn't we?! I'm glad we got to know each other and I look forward to more JDRF adventures in the future! You're a great advocate and we're lucky to have you on our side. Stay healthy and in touch. Lisa

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  3. So fantastic-- You're great at recaps! Love the red hair. Thanks for being such a champion for all of us.

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  4. highs and lows, like a fancier bullet points, i dig!

    also loving your hair! not loving that 28 tho sheesh!

    thanks for all you do to advocate for our community!

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