Wilmington teen headed for DC to lobby for type 1 diabetes

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington teen is headed to Washington DC with a national campaign for type one diabetes.

Turner Medlicott, 16,  is one of 150 children chosen to lobby for the JDRF Children’s Congress.  Medlicott was diagnosed with type one diabetes when he was five.

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“It’s something you can treat, but you can never reduce its effect,” Medlicott said.

Medlicott said he deals with difficulties many kids do not even think about.

“Especially having to count carbs as a kid,” Medlicott said.

He said, with that, came maturity.

“It’s kind of sad to lose that childhood so early, but on the one hand, I’m a little glad that I’m able to have that maturity,” Medlicott said.

Now, he’ll be taking that maturity to Capitol Hill.

“Our goal is to gain broader healthcare for insulin pumps and CGMs,” Medlicott said.

That CGM I heard twice throughout our interview, changed Medlicott’s life.

“I’m not feeling low,” Medlicott said. If I didn’t have this, it might be until my blood sugar is 60 or 50 that I feel it and by then you really need to eat something.”

Medlicott said that may be too late.

“Having that alert me this early, prevents me from having those extreme lows and those extreme highs,” Medlicott said.

Medlicott said not everyone has this new technology.

“I’ve known many people who have said, ‘I would just love love love to have that technology, but my insurance company just doesn’t cover it,'” Medlicott said.

For them, Medlicott is taking the JDRF slogan to DC to get everyone with diabetes better financial coverage.

“That is ‘Turning type 1 into type none,” Medlicott said.

Medlicott heads to DC July 13-15. He said they will also be advocating for a new artificial pancreas that is currently being tested with the FDA. Click here to learn more about the event and JDRF.