Butler youth to speak about juvenile diabetes in Washington
Caroline Simms is going to Washington.
The 13-year-old girl from Butler will represent the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation from July 8 to 10 at the foundation's Children's Congress. She has Type 1 diabetes.
Caroline said she has done local fundraising and advocacy events for diabetes research, but the Children's Congress is her first step onto the national stage.
“I think that I knew that it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance and that really made me want to do it more,” she said.
A seventh-grader at Butler Junior High School, she was selected from a field of more than 1,500 candidates to become a delegate.
The Children's Congress brings 150 children ages 4 to 17 from across the country to the Capitol to emphasize the importance of federal funding for Type 1 diabetes research, said Lara Daly, the foundation's development manager.
The children will attend a Senate hearing and give presentations to their local representatives, said Mary Simms, Caroline's mother. The point is to let elected officials know what it's like to live with Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes.
“Sometimes, from the voices of children, it makes more of an impact,” she said.
Caroline's story is especially powerful because of she came close to dying before she was diagnosed, Simms said.
“We didn't have diabetes in our family … so it was never something I paid attention to,” Simms said, “Then one day our daughter had what we thought was the stomach flu, and then she went into a coma. ... And the next thing you know, she was within 45 minutes of dying of a disorder we didn't even know she had.”
Caroline was flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh with diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition in which blood glucose levels are dangerously high. Her entire life changed at age 10, but her mother said she's dealt with it with maturity beyond her years.
“She's one of the brave ones,” Simms said.
Caroline said she's a social person, so she's most looking forward to meeting others with Type 1 diabetes who are committed to speaking out about the disorder.
“I think it's just going to be nice to be around all those people and get that feeling that I belong there,” she said.
“I'm excited to go meet all those people because they're in the same situation as me. And it just makes me smile that someone could be strong enough and actually get through all this, and go help change the world.”
Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Butler redevelopment agency declares it’s broke, in debt
- Navy Band Commodores schedule Butler show
- Delay for Butler VA project prompts groans from American Legion
- Churchill composer’s work evokes feelings from Frick Park
- Buffalo man restores beat-up Studebaker to pristine condition
- Mars Area School District Superintendent Budzilek to resign