Ethan leads diabetes advocacy into US congress
In celebration of International Youth Day, we introduce you to 12-year-old Ethan Greenfield - a Type-1 diabetic educating some of the world’s most powerful decision-makers.
Ethan, who receives treatment at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, recently represented Australia as a delegate in the biannual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Children’s Congress where he and his peers were invited to give crucial insight to help inform policy.
Proceedings began at the Australian Embassy, where Ethan met former prime minister and current US Ambassador, Hon. Dr Kevin Rudd.
Dr Rudd insisted on being called ‘Kevin’ while the two chatted about Ethan’s experience living with diabetes, before our proud South Aussie advocate was called upon to share his insight with the group.
“Ethan used his scrapbook that we had made to help share his journey,” says mum and fellow advocate, Kylie.
“Kevin asked about where Type-1 diabetes research was in Australia and how the current programs put in place had benefited him.”
Dr Rudd was also curious about how Australia’s government support for the condition compared to other nations and reiterated the importance of striving for better outcomes.
Next he attended a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing at Capitol Hill, where the calls to action were for the renewal of the US Special Diabetes Program and ensuring insulin affordability.
Shortly after, Ethan met with the Senators and Representatives to reiterate the agenda’s importance for those living with diabetes.
“This was a truly amazing experience to talk with those that can help make a difference,” says Kylie.
“Awareness and education were at an all-time high as he told these important decision makers just what it's like to live with type one diabetes.”
We’re over the moon to see Ethan representing Australia on the world stage and his family couldn’t be prouder of his efforts.
“Sharing his daily challenges of living with this relentless condition and spreading awareness about type 1 diabetes - we know this kind of advocacy really matters,” says Kylie.
Amazing work, Ethan!
For more information on our Endocrinology and Diabetes Centre at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, visit: