Research funding: Emma Hogan hopes some of the funding she has lobbied for will help develop an artificial pancreas that will help diabetics. Picture: Helen Nezdropa
GlenmorePark resident Emma Hogan is going to Washington to participate in the Children’s Congress, after a strong record of raising awareness and funds for juvenile diabetes in Australia.
After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at seven, Emma, 12, has worked closely with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Youth Ambassador program to raise awareness and research funds.
“I was diagnosed when I was seven and I didn’t actually know a lot. By the age of eight, I wanted to be active, so I signed up for the JDRF Youth Ambassador program,” she said.
“We do fund-raising in the local area and things like walk for a cure. I’ve just signed up for next year’s Jump for a Cure.”
In that fund-raiser Emma will jump out of a plane.
“Yeah, I’m crazy,” she quickly adds.
She has organised and run fund-raisers at her primary school and now Glenmore Park High School. She won the Community Spirit award as a first-year student.
As a result of her relentless campaigning she has helped to secure $35 million in federal government funding over five years towards research for a cure and better treatment and prevention of diabetes.
“In the last two or three years there have been some massive breakthroughs,” Emma said.
“They’ve created some new medication that has been trialled on mice and is now looking at human trials.
They are looking at the artificial pancreas and studying what protein does to the blood sugars.”
Lindsay MP Fiona Scott fondly remembers Emma lobbying her before the last federal election, and spoke earlier this year about her efforts in Parliament.
“Luckily for Emma, she is an amazing advocate and has a very supportive and loving family,” Ms Scott said.
“This has enabled her to be a trailblazer in her work in getting the message out about juvenile diabetes.”
Now Emma has been selected as a NSW representative at the JDRF Children’s Congress in July.
She will be among 150 delegates from nine countries speaking with US federal politicians about their cause.
“We’ll be speaking with the Australian embassy over there,” Emma said.
“Then we are paired up with a US buddy and will speak to their congressman.”
She looks forward to meeting others going through the same thing and is combining that with her passion for advocacy.
“Meeting other diabetic kids is always really good,” she said.
“But raising awareness is also very important.”
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