On April 20th, numerous advocates from throughout New York met with Senator Charles Schumer in his Manhattan office. The meeting was attended by the following JDRF advocates; Frank Leotta, his son Matthew (t1d), Charlie Lawrence, Tom and Michele Sullivan, their children; Jack and Maggie (t1d), Matt Goldstein, Mike Bieber, Scott Minor, Julie Shapiro, her daughter Elle (t1d) and Elle's Grandmother Leslee Katz. The meeting went very well to say the least. Everyone in attendance shared their T1D stories and how their lives changed the day their loved one became a part of the T1D club: the club where we do not want new members, but are always welcome with love and support.
The Senator saw firsthand all the needles and finger sticks that Elle Shapiro would use in a month as well as the technology of the Insulin pump she now wears. It was emphasized that this advancement in insulin delivery would not be possible without the Special Diabetes Program (SDP). It was explained to the Senator that the funding needs to be uninterrupted to ensure long term research continues, so new and better technologies will continue to be developed. The Senator pledged his support of the SDP and its funding. He said, “It’s important for me to see the children and the families of those who are affected by diabetes." He also went on to say, “This research is important………as long as I am a Senator, God willing, you have my support.” JDRF and its advocacy have had a positive impact on the Senator, and as a result we have a strong supporter in the United States Senate. After the meeting the senator even played a little football with Matthew Leotta in the office.
Advocacy Team Chair Frank Leotta felt that this was the BEST most engaging meeting he has been part of since being an advocate for JDRF!