Entries in Capitol Hill (2)


Kids Hit Capitol for Diabetes Cure

BananaStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Four children living with type 1 diabetes testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday to urge lawmakers to invest in research that could provide a cure for the disease that afflicts nearly three million Americans.

"I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age six. I had been losing weight, wetting the bed at night and had extreme thirst. I was always tired and very emotional," Jonathan Platt, an eight-year-old from Tarzana, Calif., said in prepared remarks. "I was thinking, How did I get this disease? I didn't know what it was. I was very scared and nervous.

"I am here to ask you to continue to do your part and fund research to find a cure," he contintued. "A cure for diabetes means that I could go to any summer camp and have sleepovers whenever and wherever I want. It means I could be a regular kid again. Most of all, it would mean I would not have diabetes."

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation estimates that of the three million Americans who have type 1 diabetes -- in which the body does not produce insulin -- 15,000 children are diagnosed each year. This week close to 150 children gathered in Washington to participate in the foundation's children's congress, where children could interact with lawmakers and explain the importance of diabetes research.

In a rare glimpse at the childhood of a Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor shared her own story of living with diabetes with the group of delegates Tuesday.

"I was ashamed," Sotomayor said as she described how she learned she had type 1 diabetes at the age of seven. Before she was diagnosed, Sotomayor had chronic thirst and wet the bed at night.

"It's a disease you have to deal with, but you can," Sotomayor told the group of children.

The Supreme Court justice continues to cope with diabetes, injecting herself with insulin four to six times a day.

One child asked Sotomayor if living with type 1 diabetes ever gets easier, to which Sotomayor replied, "Absolutely." She said having type 1 diabetes taught her discipline, which has helped her as a student and to land the job of her dreams as a Supreme Court justice.

"Figuring out how I felt all the time," she said. "All of that taught me discipline."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Widow of Patrick Swayze Announces Bill to Reduce Pancreatic Cancer

Photo Courtesy - Logan Mock-Bunting/FilmMagic(WASHINGTON) -- The widow of the late actor Patrick Swayze spoke on Capitol Hill Wednesday announcing the re-introduction of a bill to cut the mortality rate from pancreatic cancer, the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act.

Most patients afflicted with the disease die within a year.  Lisa Niemi Swayze says there must be early detection and better treatment to give patients more hope. "A lot of these cancers that have seen such incredible progress over the last twenty years or so have done so because they had survivors championing their causes - and pancreatic cancer can't boast that kind of alumni."

Swayze died in 2009, nearly 22 months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  The disease is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and is relatively underfunded. There is no cure or early detection.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio