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4 teens represent Minnesota at Diabetes Children's Congress in Washington, D.C.

Updated: July 18, 2019 06:55 PM

Before every meal, and every snack for that matter, 11-year-old Amelia Wagner must weigh what she eats.

Those numbers go into her insulin pump to calculate the correct dose of insulin. It's one of the many tasks this soon-to-be sixth-grader endures daily to make sure her blood sugar remains level. 

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"This is my bag of medical supplies, I carry it everywhere I go," Wagner said. "Inside, there are emergency treatments and an emergency shot in case I have very low blood sugar."

Wagner brought her message of finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes to lawmakers in Washington, D.C., this month.

"It was really empowering because, on the last day, we got to go to Capitol Hill and talk to congress members about funding the Special Diabetes Program, which is something that provides $150 million per year for Type 1 diabetes research," Wagner shared.

She's had to poke her finger more than 30,000 times in her 11 years, which is why she also spoke with Minnesota lawmakers about the affordability of insulin. The retail cost of her's is nearly $1,300 per month.


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"It shouldn't be expensive to stay alive because that's basically what it's like," she said.

Wagner tries to live as normal a life as possible, but admits it can be tough.

"I don't really rememeber a day I didn't have to battle it, it's hard because you can never really escape it because you are thinking about it every single minute of every single day," she said.

It's why she is pushing for continued funding, to pay for research, to find a cure.

"If there were a cure, I could just finally be who I am without having to think about it," she said with a smile.

Her parents are so grateful for the opportunity.

"Amelia felt like she had a voice, and she got to make a difference for others with Type 1 diabetes," said her mom, Karen Wagner.

"I really do think she can make a difference," her dad, Mark Wagner, added. "We've got to keep pushing for a cure, we've got to make it happen," he said.

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Credits

Jessica Miles

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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