One Baton Rouge teenager will spend the summer a little bit differently than most. Henry Tessier, 15, will head to Washington, D.C to lobby for support for Type 1 Diabetes research for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Children's Congress.
"The research that has already been going on has been helping a lot and I hope that it continues," said Henry.
The teen was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 12 and participated in clinical trials. Since then, he became an advocate for research through the JDRF. Two years ago, Henry wrote an essay and applied for the Children's Congress but was not selected. This time, the JDRF chose him and one other "delegate" in the state of Louisiana.
"The essay was about how I got diagnosed and what I wanted to do when I was in Washington. I felt honored because they only pick two per state," he explained.
He and his family will head to the nation's capital July 8th-10th, where Henry will get the chance to meet with members of congress. The young delegate will be able to tell his story, which his father, Jeff believes is a powerful tool in lobbying for funding.
"It's going to put a face to the disease," Jeff began. "You can have a bill in front of you to fund diabetic research but when you actually see the children that are affected by the disease it has more of an impact."
Henry said he wouldn't wish the hardship he and his family have faced on anyone. He plans to continue to advocate for research and funding, "until they find a cure."
To learn more about the JDRF Children's Congress, visit cc.jdrf.org