Quebec Region Teen, Myriam Paquin, 13, to represent Canada in Washington, D.C. as Delegate for JDRF's Children's Congress 2011

Child Advocate for Diabetes Research in Canada Joins Children Across the World to
Help Find a Cure for Diabetes

TORONTO, June 20, 2011 /CNW/ - Myriam Paquin, 13, is one of seven children from around the world selected to attend JDRF's Children's Congress 2011 in Washington, D.C., United States, on June 20 to 22, 2011. Myriam, representing JDRF's Canadian affiliate, will join 150 delegates from across the United States to convey a clear message to the U.S. government that type 1 diabetes is a global problem requiring a united effort to find better treatments and a cure for the disease.

Fluently bilingual in French and English, Myriam has long been a positive advocate for improving the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes in Canada. She has delivered speeches at fundraising events, given media interviews and carried the cause to Parliament Hill in Ottawa. She has inspired family and friends to campaign for more research funds to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and for improved access to insulin pump therapy right across Canada.

Myriam not only comes to Washington, D.C. as a representative for children with diabetes in Canada but for all children around the world affected by this disease. Joining Myriam in Washington, D.C. will be other JDRF Children's Congress International delegates from Australia, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Type 1 diabetes, the most severe form of diabetes, is a non-preventable autoimmune disease that can occur at any age but is most commonly diagnosed from infancy to the late 30s.1 More than 300,000 Canadians and their families suffer from this disease and are faced with its devastating complications.2

Myriam was diagnosed with diabetes when she was two years old. For Myriam and her family, managing diabetes is a daily struggle to maintain balance through frequent blood sugar checks and regular administration of insulin.

"Living with diabetes makes life a constant worry 24/7 - it's like being in a storm in an airplane - despite all the precautions, you never know if you are going to crash, make it through fine, or end up flying higher," says Myriam.  "I am honoured to represent JDRF Canada at such a distinguished event so that I can represent all the voices of Canadians with type 1 diabetes that want a cure and a better life."

While in Washington, D.C., Myriam will be paired with a "buddy" from among the U.S. delegates. These children will be given a unique opportunity to learn first-hand from each other about advocacy efforts in their country. Their networking and learning experience at Children's Congress will be beneficial in implementing future advocacy programs in Canada.

Led by International Chairman Mary Tyler Moore, JDRF's Children's Congress 2011 will include Congressional visits by the child delegates and a Congressional hearing where Ms. Moore, select child delegates, researchers, and business and community leaders will testify on the need for continued support of funding in the U.S. for diabetes research, under the theme of "Promise to Remember Me."  This theme serves as a powerful call to lawmakers to remember their struggle and the importance of supporting funding of type 1 diabetes research.

JDRF's Children's Congress, held every other year since 1999, has become the largest media and grassroots advocacy event held in support of finding better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes. The newly-selected delegates will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors in raising national awareness for type 1 diabetes and participating in personal advocacy at the highest level of the United States government.

About JDRF Canada

JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research worldwide. JDRF's mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date in Canada and around the world. It has raised more than $1.5 billion for diabetes research since its inception in 1970, including $107 million in 2010. JDRF raises funds in 7 countries, and is funding research in 19, including over 50 human clinical trials. Over 80% of the funds JDRF expends support research and research related education. For more information, please visit www.jdrf.ca.

About JDRF

JDRF is the worldwide leader for research to cure type 1 diabetes.  It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide.

The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.  Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly, and can be fatal.  Until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar and give themselves multiple daily insulin injections or use a pump - each day, every day of their lives.  And even with that intensive care, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its potential complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.

Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.5 billion to diabetes research, including $107 million last year.  More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. For more information, please visit www.jdrf.org.

1 JDRF. What is Diabetes?. Accessed March 2011.

2 JDRF. Type 1 Fact Sheet. Accessed March 2011.


SOURCE Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

For further information:

Jennifer Dent
647 789 2025
jdent@jdrf.ca

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Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

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