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Saturday, February 2, 2013

1,300 (Or How Not to Listen to Depressing Country Music)

Today, I'd like to tell you a little bit about Children's Congress.

Every other year, JDRF does thing where they get a bunch of kids from all 50 states (and the District of Columbia - yay for remembering the District of Columbia!), and take them to Washington D.C.  From there, these kids get to meet face-to-face with members of Congress, and show them why finding a cure for T1D is so important.  It was sort of an underground thing until 2009, when every tween's favorite diabetic (aka Nick Jonas) went to the event.  Then, boom!  Everybody wanted to be involved.  Because...hey, who doesn't want to bond with a hot singer over blood sugar problems?  I do!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  This year, I decided I'd try my hand at applying for Children's Congress.  I mean, I work hard in JDRF, I'm advocating in the community, not to mention sharing my story with my own personal blog (wink, wink).  I can do this!

So anyway, applications were due around November, and earlier today, I today I got my response letter in the mail.  And as you can see, I'm hanging it proudly on my bedroom wall!  Why?  Well, because it had some pretty awesome-sauce news on it!  Yeah, that's right!  This letter is an awesome reminder that I applied for Children's Congress 2013 and I didn't get in!

...Wait, what?

Yes, you read that right!  I will not be attending Children's Congress this year.  Or, well, ever.  See, to qualify for the program, you have to be between 4 and 17.  Since it's held every other year, this 2013 meeting was my last chance to be in it.  And, well, that's not going to be happening.

Alright, sarcasm aside.  Am I upset?  Yes, I am.  I spent a lot of time on my application, working hard to make sure it was perfect, and spending months worrying about whether or not my hard work paid off.  And I got the answer to that question today, and there's no beating around the bush; it didn't.  And that sucks (It probably didn't help that my blood sugar was low when I got the letter.  Low BG's = sensitive emotions = sob fest).

But you know what?  It's ok.

See, according to this letter I received, over 1,500 kids from all over the country applied to Children's Congress this year.  That means that in this country, there are 1,500 people who understand how sucky low blood sugars in the middle of the night are, how annoying it is to hear how your friend's grandpa's cat has diabetes, and understand the alternate definition for the word SWAG (hint: it's Scientific Wild-Ass Guess, which is creating a random bolus/injection amount for a certain food or drink when you don't know how many carbs are actually in it).  Also, I seriously doubt this program will accept more than 150 kids into it, which means over the next few weeks, there are going to be 1,300 kids who understand how much it sucks not to be accepted to Children's Congress.  Even suckier, this may not be their only rejection letter, and I can't imagine that.

So, there are now 1,300 of us in this little club.  What do we do, guys?

We be happy.

I know, I'm not making much sense right now.  Hear me out.  Yes, we're not going to Children's Congress.  But that doesn't mean nobody's going to Children's Congress.  Roughly 150 (estimated by my math skills, which admittedly aren't very good but that's ok for this example) kids are going to be there, and they're going to advocate like freaking crazy!  These guys are not going to leave until every person in Congress can accurately define 'rage bolus' (another hint: it's a large bolus/series of mild bolus's administered to correct high blood sugar, which can sometimes lead to low blood sugar.  I think we need a diabetic slang dictionary).  Diabetes is going to be in excellent hands with these guys.  I know it and you know it.

Yes, we are allowed to be sad.  We are allowed to be angry, and we are allowed to mope around and listen to depressing country music for a few days (Blog title!).  But what we are not allowed to do, let this decision bother us.  Because it doesn't matter if we're going or not.  What matters is that, overall, 150 kids are going.  And they are going to bring us one step closer to a cure.  In fact, just writing in to these guys has brought us closer.  Wanting to be a part of Children's Congress has shown how important this is, and has made other people take it seriously.  Whether we know it or not, all 1,500 of us, together, took a big step in getting closer to the cure.

And that's all we can ask for.

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