Camryn Adams Goes to Washington: A Diabetes Lobbyist

Camryn Adams Goes to Washington: A Diabetes Lobbyist: Many children dream of one day meeting the President of the United States, but how many 9 year-old lobbyists do you know? I’d like to introduce you to Camryn Adams.

Last month Camryn joined 151 other children who live with Type 1 diabetes to encourage President Obama to fund research into juvenile diabetes.

The Amherst Bulletin first covered this report and describes the life of this young lady; “Camryn must check her blood sugar level eight to 10 times a day by pricking her finger and testing the blood with her pump. When her blood sugar is too low, she must consume something the body can easily turn into glucose, like fruit juice. When her blood sugar is too high, she must calculate the amount of insulin the pump should supply to lower it to a healthy level.”

Camryn was not quite six years old when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. As she recalled that day she said, “At first I really didn’t know what the word (diabetes) meant. The only part I recognized was ‘die,’ so I thought I was going to die, but that didn’t happen.”

The lobbying effort that Camryn participated in was part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Children’s Congress. Camryn was a delegate this year. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) reports, “The delegates had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit the White House and meet with President Barack Obama. While standing on the portico steps on the South Lawn, the delegates were surprised with VIP visits from Mary Tyler Moore, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Nick Jonas.

”Before the President arrived, these superstars interacted with the delegates, shaking hands and signing autographs. Children’s Congress Chair Cynthia Ford made opening remarks and passed over the floor to President Obama. President Obama encouraged the kids to “keep up the great work” and posed for a photo with all 152 delegates and the role models.”

Camryn’s life has not been easy. The Amherst Bulletin indicates that, “Since she no longer produces insulin, Camryn needs a pump to supply her body with the hormone all day, everyday, or she – and all others suffering from type I diabetes – would die.”

This is part of her story and perhaps part of what she told her political representatives. According to the JDRF, “Delegates dispersed to meet with their congressmen. Each delegate was scheduled to meet with their representative and both of their senators. Delegates went before their respective leaders telling their stories of what it is truly like to live with diabetes and asking them to ‘promise to remember me’ when making decisions concerning diabetes and, specifically, diabetes research.”

According to information from the Amherst Bulletin Camryn and her family have raised thousands of dollars for the JDRF and, “Know the money will be put toward important research, including financing development of an artificial pancreas, which will automatically provide a constant amount of insulin; it is still being tested. Barbara (Camryn’s mother) said she raises money for research in the hope Camryn will be wearing one when she leaves for college.”

Camryn’s family is hoping for changes in America’s health care policy that will allow for coverage of items that would make life much easier for Type 1 diabetics, but are often considered luxury items by traditional insurance carriers. Ultimately they are hoping that Camryn’s trip to Washington might just result in a quicker trip to a cure for Type 1 diabetes.