• Proud to be from Pittsburgh: JDRF


    Health care has been a big topic of debate on Capitol Hill, and lawmakers will continue to discuss it in September.

    Lawmakers have until Sept. 30 to decide whether to continue funding a $150 million program funding diabetes research.

    A local teenager was picked to be part of a delegation made up of kids from across the country and around the world to help encourage them to vote to continue funding it.

    Max Wolper was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2003.

    "We went to [UPMC Childrens Hospital] and his blood sugar was 900, very high, and he was very sick. He was only 2 years old, so of course it was very scary," said Brenda Wolper, Max's mother.

    Since that day, he and his family have worked tirelessly to support JDRF, a group dedicated to Type 1 diabetes research. The Wolpers have a team in the JDRF walk each year.

    "Max's crew, we have walked for 12 years, and our family matches every donation that we get. So our family has turned in over $300,000 towards diabetes research," said Brenda.

    Max was chosen this year to represent the Pittsburgh area in the JDRF "Children's Congress." Type 1 diabetics from each state are selected to go to Washington, D.C, where they talk to lawmakers about the need for funding research.

    "I was honored to be chosen, and it was kinda nice to get, like, recognized for all the work I've put in over the years," said Max.

    Max got to spend time with senators and representatives, including Pennsylvania's Keith Rothfus. 

    "He was very nice, and we just had a good conversation about how it can't hold me back and that it will help shape me into a stronger person and that, it was a very incredible and inspiring experience getting to meet him," said Max.

    While the trip to the nation's Capitol was exciting, Max said he's focused on the next step: finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes. He said it's not just about him, it's for the three million children and adults living with the disease every day.

    If you want to learn more about the program Congress is considering or to sign a petition to support it, CLICK HERE.



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