Breakthrough T1D NorCal Advocates Return from Government Day


Our dedicated Northern California Advocates have returned from Government Day in Washington, DC! From June 3-5, these hardworking volunteers met with our nation’s leaders on Capitol Hill to share their stories and advocate for federal support and funding for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, insulin affordability, and health policies that benefit our community.

Our sincere thanks go to Matt Diamond, Debra Dommen, Hale Johnston, Aisling Kelly, Stefanie Sonico, Chris Tapio, and Alison ten Cate for making the trip and representing our Breakthrough T1D NorCal community. These passionate volunteers not only work year-round to maintain relationships with their districts’ congressmen but also collaborated, organized, led, and attended a total of 19 meetings on Capitol Hill (including our two U.S. senators)! A big thank you as well to our Breakthrough T1D NorCal Advocacy Chair, Missy Reller, who, although unable to attend in person, worked tirelessly to organize our group and secure meetings.

Stefanie Sonico, our California Advocacy Grassroots Leader, says, “What an amazing opportunity to be the first brand ambassadors for our new name and brand, Breakthrough T1D. Having the opportunity to introduce Breakthrough T1D to our elected officials and be the face and voice of change was a once in a lifetime experience.”

“I am so proud to advocate alongside some of the most dedicated volunteers in the Breakthrough T1D community! They are relentless in their quest to secure the funding needed to advance our mission to cure, treat and prevent T1D.” – Stefanie Sonico, California Advocacy Grassroots Leader

Aisling Kelly, District CA-18 Champion, attended Government Day for the first time. She says, “Participating in Breakthrough T1D’s Government Day was truly inspiring. The energy and dedication of everyone advocating for Type 1 diabetes together were incredible. Being surrounded by passionate professionals and engaging in meaningful discussions on Capitol Hill made me feel part of a powerful community. This experience has left an indelible mark on me, and I’m looking forward to continuing our advocacy efforts.”

The conference gathered Breakthrough T1D leaders and volunteer advocates from all fifty states. Speakers and attendees included Senate Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs, U.S. Senator Susan Collins & Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Congressional Diabetes Caucus Co-chairs, Congresswoman Diana DeGette & Congressman Gus Bilirakis.

We’re extremely proud of Chris Tapio, NorCal Advocacy Team Chair, who was honored with the Trailblazer Award for his longtime commitment, innovation and service!

Read more about the event here.

To learn more about our advocacy work and how you can get involved, visit