Leawood teen joins effort to maintain funding for diabetes research

Jim Cunningham
July 26, 2017 - 6:55 am

A high school senior from Leawood is in the nation's capital, along with kids from all 50 states, to make an appeal to congress.

Mary Clare Halpin, 17, has lived with type 1 diabetes for about nine years.

"I had to grow up a lot faster than a lot of kids," Halpin said. "I was forced to learn at eight-years-old that fairy tales are not a real thing and life doesn't have a happy ending -- there are going to be some bumps and struggles there."

Halpin is in Washington, DC for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Children's Congress. Every two years, kids with type 1 diabetes meet with lawmakers to raise awareness and seek renewal of the Special Diabetes Program. The program accounts for a third of all federal funding for T1D research. 

"It's not a Republican or Democratic issue," Halpin said. "It's an issue that many people agree with."

The program is set to expire September 30 and is a top priority for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 

Halpin said she is confident congress will continue funding the program.

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