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Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Local 11-year old to represent Louisiana at JDRF Children’s Congress

Local 11-year old to represent Louisiana at JDRF Children’s Congress

RACELAND, LA - Rory Monier, age 11, of Raceland, has been chosen by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the leading global organization focused on Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) research, to join a delegation of children and celebrity advocates at the JDRF 2017 Children’s Congress.

The event will be held in Washington, D.C. from July 24-26. The Delegates will be lobbying their Members of Congress to remind them of the vital need to continue supporting T1D research that could reduce the burden of this disease and ultimately find a cure.

Rory, the son of Rhett and Kristy Rousse Monier, was diagnosed with T1D in November 2007 at the age of two. This year will mark his 10th anniversary of dealing with this disease. He will be a seventh grader at Lockport Middle School in the fall.

Rory and his family have been involved with the JDRF since his diagnosis through the JDRF One Walk that is held in New Orleans. Their family/friend walk team, Team Rory’s Mission, has raised over $123,000 for JDRF in the past nine years.

Although afflicted with the disease at a very young age, Rory has not let diabetes stop him. He is a member of a competitive soccer team, plays drums in his middle school band and is involved in school clubs.

The Monier family has developed a motto in their household to continue their motivation to keep fighting T1D…Diabetes will not define me, it will not own me and it will not stop me. Rory believes that one day he will be able to say “I HAD Type 1 Diabetes!”

T1D is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells.

While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present— nothing you can do to get rid of it.

Through an application process, Rory was selected out of six applicants in the state of Louisiana and over

1300 applicants throughout the country. There will be 158 delegates attending with six of those delegates traveling from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

These children—ages 4 to 17, and representing all 50 states—will participate in a number of activities on the Hill, including a Congressional Committee hearing to share personal testimonies that highlight the daily struggles of living with T1D and the need for continued funding for research projects such as the Special Diabetes Program (SDP).

The goal of the event is to raise awareness about T1D and the importance of Congressional support in advancing research that will result in better treatments, prevention, and one day, a world without T1D. Because of research, there has been significant progress made toward better treatments and a cure.

“I am happy that I was picked to be part of JDRF 2017 Children’s Congress and to share my family’s story with people who can make a huge impact on T1D research,” said Rory. “I want my congressman to know that kids battling T1D have a constant reminder that we have diabetes every time we eat or want to take part in activities. We have daily schedules that are important in saving our lives.”

Each delegate traveling from out of the country was partnered up with a delegate from the U.S.

Rory has been chosen to be the Australian Delegate’s, Will, buddy for the event. Will and Rory are the same age, were both diagnosed at age two, and both love soccer.

“I am honored to have been chosen as Will’s buddy,” said Rory. “I am also excited to go to Capitol Hill alongside these powerful kids to meet with our Senators and Representatives. I am really proud that I have the chance to make a difference in the lives of people with T1D.”