A Lincoln teen is about to go on a very important trip - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

A Lincoln teen is about to go on a very important trip

A Lincoln teen is about to go on a very important trip

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Lincoln Southeast junior Maddie Elbracht  is meeting with congressmen in Washington D.C. later this month to push fro a cause very personal to her  - Type 1 Diabetes research. 

Maddie is one of just 160 kids from across the country to be invited to the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation's Children's Congress, where she'll meet with lawmakers to advocate for funding for Type 1 Diabetes research. 

It's something she's familiar with, as she was diagnosed with the disease at 14 months old. 

"Without even needing to test Maddie's blood sugar, she looked at her, examined her and said 'I'm pretty sure this is what it is,'" said Maddie's mother, Tracie. 

"For the next nine days we were at Saint Elizabeth's getting a crash course in how to help your toddler, or basically infant because she was so young, get better." 

Living with diabetes is normal for Maddie, but her life would seem anything but that to those who don't have the disease. 

"Even if I go to like my friend's house, there's so much I have to do before that is diabetic-related," Maddie said.

"Like I have to make sure my blood sugars are good enough to go, I have to bring all my testing supplies, I have to make sure I have enough insulin to go, and if I don't I have to change my insulin pump sight before I go. I have to make sure I have enough test strips, I have to make sure I even know what they're eating and the carb counts for all of that - so it's a lot to do one simple thing."

Maddie is one of more than 1.25 million people in the United States who has Type 1 Diabetes. 

She's spent much of her young life advocating and raising awareness of the disease, in hopes to find a cure. 

She's personally raised over $30,000. 

That's why it means so much to her to be selected to attend the Children's Congress. 

The goal of the event is to urge our nation's lawmakers to vote to continue funding the Special Diabetes Program. 

The program estimates about one third of the total federal dollars that go towards Type 1 Diabetes research. 

The program is set to expire at the end of September. 

"We're going to tell them our diabetes story, day to day life with it and try to get them to vote on the bill," Maddie said. 

For her, it's a step towards independence from insulin - and a new look on life. 

"I've been a diabetic for 15 years, I've known nothing other than to be a diabetic," she said.

"So, one day, I really hope I can just live a normal life. Hopefully I can say I 'was' a diabetic and just live life like a normal person - I won't have to check my blood sugar or give myself insulin or anything like that. It's really all just about finding a cure."

Her trip is from July 22-26. 

An estimated 110 people are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes every day in the United States, and over $300 billion is spent annually in diabetes-related care. 

Three other kids from Nebraska will attend the event with Maddie. 
 

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