Advocacy on Capitol Hill: JDRF’s New Issue of Countdown Gives an Intimate Look Back on the JDRF 2011 Children’s Congress

Advocacy on Capitol Hill: JDRF’s New Issue of Countdown Gives an Intimate Look Back on the JDRF 2011 Children’s Congress

September 28, 2011

Media Contact: Joana Casas, 212.479.7560,

–Online magazine features a Senate hearing, a Town Hall event with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a message from International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore, and more– 

NEW YORK, N.Y., September 28, 2011-The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) yesterday released a new issue of Countdown, the organization’s online magazine reporting on important news about type 1 diabetes (T1D). The fall issue of Countdown recaps the events and people involved in the JDRF 2011 Children’s Congress, which took place June 20-22 in Washington, D.C. During this three-day grassroots advocacy event, 155 child and teen delegates with T1D from all 50 U.S. states and seven countries, along with celebrity advocates and role models, took to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress for continued support of T1D research.

The September 2011 issue of Countdown includes:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Convenes Children’s Congress Town Hall: Revisit the special first Town Hall event during Children’s Congress, when U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke candidly to a room of young delegates about her own experience with T1D. The delegates gathered around Justice Sotomayor, captivated, as she described growing up with T1D in the 1960s and how she triumphed in achieving her dream job.

JDRF 2011 Children’s Congress Senate Hearing: Join the specially convened Senate hearing, “Transforming Lives through Diabetes Research,” in which actor and JDRF advocate Kevin Kline joined scientific experts and delegates to testify on the research progress achieved through the Special Diabetes Program, and on the urgent need to accelerate testing of the artificial pancreas.

Town Hall Role Models Score Points for JDRF Children’s Congress: Sit alongside the young delegates at the second Town Hall event featuring a panel of role models with T1D-Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr.; Amazing Race winner Natalie Strand, M.D.; JDRF researcher Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D.; Super Bowl champion football player Kendall Simmons; and LPGA golfer Carling Coffing. Read about the messages of encouragement and personal stories of perseverance these accomplished panelists shared with the delegates.

Three Generations of Advocacy: Meet the Shaheens, Children’s Congress Chair Family: Learn about the JDRF 2011 Children’s Congress Chair Family, the Shaheens, get to know three generations of advocates who have joined together in support of T1D research. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), daughter and Children’s Congress Chair Mom Stefany Shaheen, and granddaughter Elle-a Children’s Congress delegate who was diagnosed with T1D at age eight-representing the strength of bringing voices together to make an even greater impact.

Letter from Leadership from Mary Tyler Moore: Hear from long-time JDRF advocate and International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore as she discusses the significance of JDRF Children’s Congress in supporting JDRF’s overall mission, and reminisces about the year it all began, in 1999.She also provides an account of this year’s exciting events, extends gratitude to those in Congress who have helped move important diabetes research forward, and reminds everyone of the critical work that lies ahead.

Highlights: Learn more about JDRF’s corporate partners and the two recipients of this year’s JDRF Hero Awards-Representative Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, and Director Griffin Rodgers, M.D., of the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Read about the details from the JDRF 2011 Children’s Congress Senate hearing, including Kevin Kline’s testimony, and get to know a few of this year’s inspirational delegates.

Photo Gallery: Browse the issue’s photo gallery to take a visual tour through some of the most memorable moments from this year’s JDRF Children’s Congress.

To read this current issue of Countdown, and browse past features, visit



About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.

Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.7 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.