Utah youth preparing for trip to Washington for JDRF Children’s Congress

PARK CITY, Utah -- Two Park City siblings are going to Children’s Congress on behalf of the local chapter for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

JDRF’s Mountain Valley Chapter covers Utah and Idaho, and they are sending three Type 1 diabetics to Washington D.C. to lobby Utah Representatives and Senators to allocate federal funding to fund a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

They are asking them to renew the Special Diabetes Program for $150 million for next year to the National Institute of Health, as the program  is set to end this year. The Mountain Valley Chapter has received $21 million this year already.

The siblings are 14-year-old Sophia and 7-year-old Alex Adrian. They were chosen to represent the Mountain Valley Chapter.

Sophia was diagnosed two years ago with Type 1 diabetes and Alex was diagnosed four years ago. Their mother, Christina, also has Type 1 diabetes. The three of them, along with the other sister and their dad, Trevor, help each other out with managing their diabetes.

“For us, with three of us in the family having Type 1, the health insurance cost is one thing but it costs us about $10,000 per person out of pocket every year to pay for insulin and glucagon and the insulin pods and the CGMs, so it would be extra money in our pocket if they found a cure,” explained mother Christina Adrian.

Sophia is excited to go to D.C.

“If I got chosen, I knew that I would be able to go and make a difference and I was representing the kids not only in Utah but all the kids in the country,” she said.

“I want to them to raise more money for the scientists that are trying to work for a cure for diabetes,” Alex added.

Alex said what he hates most about diabetes is waiting to eat, and dealing with the needle pricks and shots. He has to wait to eat sometimes because his blood sugar levels must be at the right level to allow him to eat carbohydrates.

“I want them to help find a cure,” Sophia said. “That's at the top, but it takes steps to get there, and so it would definitely be for funding more technology.”

Sophia said finding a cure would change her life.

“I don't even know, that would just be so amazing," she said. "Like, right now, at my age it's really difficult in school because I want to hide it but also I want to show everyone ‘Hey look this is who I am’ but I want to fit in; but if there is other people out there struggling with it I want to be there for them and be like ‘I am just like you’. If a cure came out I think that would be very cool.”

The Adrian family will leave this weekend for D.C. The Children’s Congress is Monday through Wednesday.

There will also be celebrities and athletes with Type 1 diabetes who will also be lobbying their representatives next to the children.

Fox 13 News is a partner with JDRF’s local Mountain Valley Chapter.

For more information on JDRF’s Children’s Congress, click here.