The first version of the House ACHA health bill just stalled and the Presidential budget with major cuts in health research funding was released right before Mark made his first trip joining the American Diabetes Association’s Call to Congress lobbying event in Washington D. C. The agenda in March was filled with pressing topics from rising insulin prices to increasing concerns about insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions, and the risk of major cuts in funding for medical research and diabetes prevention.

Attending with our patient Doris Gilbert and other ADA Los Angeles advocates, we were joined by over 180 other patient advocates and researchers from 33 states. Our LA group met with staff members from the offices of Senators Harris and Feinstein, plus Representatives Bass, Cardenas, and Barragan to ask for policy changes to prevent diabetes and to improve the lives of our patients.

A highlight happened during one of our policy talks, with a policy staffer from Rep. Cardenas’ office who seemed to be distracted by series of text messages on his phone. We shortly discovered that he was texting his girlfriend – a newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes staffer working in another office who had never met another person with T1D. Policy questions melted in face of personal concerns about living with T1D, but in the process we created two new diabetes advocates.