This month, I was joined by 160 kids like me, who live with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for the JDRF Children’s Congress. We went to Washington, D.C., to ask Congress to fund the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) for T1D research. I was diagnosed when I was almost 2 years old. I’m 9 years old now, and I don’t remember not having T1D.

Sen. Collins invited me to testify on Capitol Hill about what my life is like with T1D. I was a delegate representing Maine and 1 of the 2 kids invited to speak on behalf of all our fellow delegates. It was an honor!

I am lucky because I have devices that help me manage my T1D. I have been using an Omnipod insulin pump since I was about 3 years old. It has no tubes, which I like, and I don’t have to take shots. But sometimes it hurts when I have to change my pod every three days.

I also use the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor. Things have gotten a lot easier because I can just check my numbers on my phone and my mom can see them. Before the G6, I was checking my blood sugar up to 10 times a day. Now, I still have to prick my finger, but not as much.

Sen. Collins asked me what advice I would give to someone who just learned they have T1D. I told her we have to be brave and not let diabetes get in our way, because T1D is still really hard to manage. Even if I do my best, my numbers can be off and I won’t feel good. I wish my diabetes would disappear.

I want to thank Senator Collins for supporting kids with type 1 diabetes and giving me the opportunity to share my story with her fellow senators. She’s helping us because we need more research to find cures and even better devices. We need to figure out what causes T1D so we can stop it.

Ruby Anderson


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