Nevada Chapter Children’s Congress Delegates – Erick and Oaklie Leavitt

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Each year it is held, Breakthrough T1D receives more than fifteen hundred applications for Breakthrough T1D Children’s Congress, while approximately 150 applicants can be selected as Delegates. The Nevada Chapter is excited to announce that Erick and Oaklie Leavitt have been chosen to represent Southern Nevada in Washington, D.C from July 24 – 26, 2017. Here’s a short introduction to our 2017 Children’s Congress Delegates.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your family?

Erick and Oaklie - Two Against OneErick: I’m 14 and turning 15 in May. I was diagnosed when I was 9 years old after my mom realized something was wrong. I was always hungry and thirsty and kept losing weight. I also couldn’t stop using the bathroom, so we went to the doctor where he used a lot of fancy words that I didn’t know what they meant. I just wanted to go home and eat Panda Express but instead was sent to the hospital.

Oaklie: I am almost 13 years old and was 10 when I was diagnosed. I come from a family of 5 and have two brothers. One of my brothers is also a type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed after I hadn’t been feeling well. My mom decided to test my blood sugar and knew what was wrong when the meter said “high.”

Share with us a little about the activities you and your family have been involved in with Breakthrough T1D.

Oaklie: We have been involved with Breakthrough T1D since my brother was diagnosed almost 6 years ago. We have done many activities with the Breakthrough T1D like the Rock to Walk, the Breakthrough T1D One Walk, the Hope Gala, we’ve been able to help out at the TypeOneNation Summit and we participate in the Speakers’ Bureau and are part of the Youth Ambassador Program. We also meet with families in the hospital when they are newly diagnosed. This year we are training for the Ride to Cure in Colorado.

Training for the Colorado Ride to Cure

Why did you apply for Children’s Congress?

Oaklie: I wanted to be able to spread the word about T1D. I love when I get to promote Breakthrough T1D and what they do. I think it will be an awesome experience to go to Washington DC and tell our leaders about type 1 diabetes.

Erick: I applied because I thought it would be fun and educational for me to meet the Nevada Congressmen. I am always looking for different ways to help spread the word about type 1 diabetes.

What does it mean to you to represent the Nevada Chapter at the 2017 Children’s Congress?

Erick: To me it’s just really awesome to think that out of the 1000’s of kids who applied, I get this opportunity.

Oaklie: I think it’s pretty awesome! To think they would choose my brother and I to tell our leaders about type 1 diabetes is amazing. It’s an honor to be chosen to represent Nevada.

You will have the opportunity to share your personal story with our Nevada elected officials. What do you want them to know about living with type 1 diabetes?

T1D Looks Like MeOaklie: It’s hard living with T1D because you’re constantly waking up at night to test your blood sugar. People always ask you questions about the medical devices like my pump or CGM. Sometimes people stare at me because I have to test my blood sugar when I’m in the lunchroom. I don’t always get to do everything that somebody without T1D would do. I also want them to know how Breakthrough T1D has helped me to make new friends and helped me to understand type 1 better. I also want them to know that because of Breakthrough T1D I have devices to help me with my diabetes like my pump and CGM.

Erick: I want them to know that it is hard living with T1D, and it sucks sometimes to have people look at you and question why you’re doing the things you do. They ask things like what’s that on your arm, or why do you stab your finger, or even “what’s wrong with you?” I know that the research done because of Breakthrough T1D makes it easier and possible for there to be a cure. The research done on type 1 diabetes is making my life easier.

What are you most excited about for your trip with Washington DC?

Oaklie: I’m most excited to go and talk to our leaders about T1D to help them know what it’s about. To be able to spread the word to help them understand just what T1D is and how it affects our lives.

Erick: I’m most excited to go meet our elected officials! To have a chance to talk with them about type 1 diabetes will be exciting. I’ve been to DC before when my dad worked there but I’m also very excited to go climb the Washington Monument because it’s always been closed when we’ve gone.

Erick and Oaklie will be asked to make local media appearances, complete tasks relating to Breakthrough T1D Children’s Congress before, during and after the event, interact with other Delegates, visit Capitol Hill to meet with national lawmakers and staff, and spread Breakthrough T1D’s mission of creating a world without type 1 diabetes. We look forward to sharing more about their experience attending the 2017 Children’s Congress.

Team Two Against One Headed to Children's Congress