Summer of Service: 14-year-old spends summer in DC pushing for diabetes funding

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCBD)- All week News 2 is introducing you to local kids with a heart for the community who spent their summer breaks giving back. 14-year-old Cameron Shephard is trying to eliminate a disease which impacts more than one million children in the U.S., Type 1 Diabetes.

Cameron was first diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes when she was seven years old.


She says, “I try not to think about it too much, I mean I have to.”

But diabetes doesn’t slow Cameron down. She plays tennis and basketball while a CGM monitors her blood sugar.

She says, “It sends numbers, like blood sugars, every five minutes to my phone which then sends it to my parents phone so they can check my blood sugar and I don’t have to prick my finger as much.”

This is just one example of improving technology for diabetics.

Shephard says, “Just since I’ve been diagnosed, the CGM has gotten better, and there’s things like the artificial pancreas, and there’s new technologies coming every day.”

But those new developments mean research and money. In the past seven years, Cameron has raised more than $15,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF.

She says, “You don’t really get a break from diabetes, so raising awareness and raising funds it’ll help toward a cure or better treatment. And that’s really important to me, to get a cure for me and all the other diabetics.”

And this summer, she was chosen to be a part of the Children’s Congress. She spent three days in Washington DC speaking to local congressmen.

Shephard says, “I one-on-one talked with Clyburn, and I met with Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott too.”

Pushing for renewal of funding…

She says, “It’s $150 million to JDRF for research every year.”

… and consideration in health care reform.

She says, “About the insurance and health care reforms and how we need support for diabetes for that.”

And to top it all off, Cameron is training for a 100 mile bike ride on September 14th in New York. If you want to contribute to her effort, click here.


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