FREEHOLD, NJ -  Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) met with advocates and representatives from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for an in-depth discussion on Type 1 diabetes (T1D), and his leadership in Congress in pushing for more funding of critical diabetes research.

 

“We had an informative and crucial conversation on the challenges of Type 1 diabetes, the need for more funding of research, and also the inspiring stories of those who are living with these challenges with courage, grace, and determination,” Smith said. 

 

“I am pleased to see that for FY 2019, the proposed funding of diabetes research at the NIH is an increase on previous funding levels, and I anticipate voting on appropriations legislation next week to meet these funding requests.”

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At Tuesday’s meeting, Smith’s met with constituents who discussed with him their challenges of living with Type I Diabetes, but also told him their impressive stories of resilience and determination to excel in school, sports and life, that they will not be defined by diabetes. 

 

At their request, Rep. Smith signed on to a letter, which is being circulated by the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to modernize its policies to cover the next generation of diabetes management technologies.

 

In 2017, Smith wrote a letter to the Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, requesting proper funding for diabetes research for FY 2018.

 

According to JDRF, approximately 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, including 200,000 youth younger than 20 years old and more than one million adults age 20 and older. Between the years 2001 and 2009, there was a 21 percent increase in the prevalence of Type 1 diabetes in youth under age 20.

 

Each year, 40,000 people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the U.S., and five million are expected to have T1D by the year 2050, according to JDRF. It currently has no cure and is not caused by lifestyle choices.