Junior Bridget Ury speaks at Children’s Congress

Nikayla Copenhaver, Staff Writer

Last summer, Junior Bridget Ury had the opportunity to speak at the Children’s Congress about the Special Diabetes Program (SDP). The event is put on yearly by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), who is dedicated to helping Americans with type one diabetes finally find a cure.
The SDP uses funding from Congress for clinical trials and research for type one diabetes. The program was set to renew on September 30 of this year, and Ury’s goal was to convince Congress to continue funding, but so far it hasn’t been renewed.

Type one diabetes is when the body produces little to no insulin, which is a necessary hormone that helps your body get energy from glucose. The cause is still unknown, but it can be genetic or caused by environmental factors, and can affect you in many ways: dehydration, fatigue, or even serious health problems such as heart and blood vessel disease. The treatment for type one diabetes is often very expensive due to frequent doctor visits and the constant need for medicine.

This issue struck close to home for Ury since she is one of the millions of Americans who is affected by type-one diabetes, and knows how scary the disease can be if you don’t have access to insurance or medicine.

“The long term consequences are hard to face sometimes,” she said. “It’s kind of horrifying to think about.”

Ury was one of the 167 kids and teenagers chosen to travel to Washington D.C. after passing a rigorous application process, and she was the oldest speaker at the Children’s Congress.

“It was really nerve-wracking,” she said. Since she was the oldest there, most of the responsibility of speaking and leading the discussion was put on her.

When Ury finally had the opportunity to speak to Congress, she said she wanted her speech to be heartfelt and touching. Instead of using the script they gave her, she took the opportunity to tell them what she thought in her own words, thinking that would make a bigger impact.

“Congressmen and women are supposed to talk to their constituents and ask what they want and what’s important to them, so it was really cool we got the chance to do that,” Ury said.