Amazing Grace: The Young and the Hopeful: When the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in Kansas needs lobbying help from someone living with Type 1 diabetes there is one name that always seems to come up – Grace Chisholm.
This summer she joined other diabetics in lobbying President Obama for more funds to help in the fight against diabetes. But Grace seems almost tireless in her drive to help however she can.
Grace seems to be well known in her home state of Kansas. In fact JDRF-KC Executive Director Yvonne Miller told Fox4KC.com, “We use Grace a lot. She is quite the advocate for diabetes research and education. I don’t know if I have anyone better than Grace to go out into the community and explain what we do as an organization.”
A video of Grace shows her talking with Congressman Dennis Moore in which she asks the congressman, “Promise to remember me?”
Grace is described as articulate and a “take charge” activist. She remains a Youth Ambassador for JDRF and has helped raise awareness for her disease. But Grace also is a very capable fundraiser. It is estimated that she has been directly linked to donations of over $50,000.
Former teacher Diane Thompson spoke of the way Grace manages her diabetes. She told Fox4KC.com, “She just had a handle on it, unlike most kids older than she is. [She does] everything she had to do every day to stay well — religiously, on her own and to a T. I attribute it to her intelligence and her personality.”
Grace checks her blood sugar 10-12 times a day and enlists the help of her two sisters in pushing for support for diabetes research. Grace will be taking part in a walk in October that is designed to help raise money for diabetes research. She is seen in the Fox video stuffing more than a hundred envelopes with information about her walk, and it’s a safe bet she expects recipients to participate in some way. That’s just Grace.
Her inspirational story was why Fox4KC named Grace Chisholm a recent Young Achiever. Did I mention she’s nine years old?
The walk she is working on is scheduled for October 10th in Kansas City, KS at The Legends. Grace tells potential donors, “Finding a cure for diabetes would mean the world to me. It would be the most amazing thing. I don’t even have the words. Life with diabetes is a struggle everyday. From managing my blood sugars to changing my insulin pump site, this disease is horrible and will never go away unless we keep fighting for a cure”.
As of this writing Grace was at about 30% of her $5,000 goal. If her past experience with lobbying is any indication she will meet and likely exceed that goal.
Grace’s fund raising letter also states, “While Grace does most of the things other kids do, she can never relax. Every bite of food, physical activity, illness, stress and hormones require Grace to think about her diabetes and attempt to control her blood sugars. There is no vacation from this disease.”
Type 1 diabetics are well acquainted with the struggle Grace faces every day. Like Grace, other Type 1 diabetics are pushing to find ways to work together for a cure.
Grace mentions in her note one more compelling fact, “While we understand the economy is down, diabetes has not slowed down.”
And the drive shown by Grace every day has JDRF-KC Executive Director Yvonne Miller telling Fox4KC.com, “I don’t think they say no to her.”