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Advocacy Spotlight: Taylor Duncan

Meet Taylor Duncan, a Diabetes Advocate from Spokane, WA

Taylor DuncanBefore Taylor Duncan’s first meeting with an elected official, she was nervous.  “The first time I went into an elected official's office, I was scared because I thought that they weren’t going to listen to me or that they wouldn’t help me fight diabetes.” said Taylor.  “But, after that first meeting I realized that elected officials are just regular people.”

After that first meeting, Taylor knew she wanted to stay involved with advocacy.  Taylor and her family learned more about ADA’s advocacy efforts and the Washington Teen Advocate program.  The WA Teen Advocates are young adults between the ages of 13 and 18 who are passionate about getting involved in the fight against diabetes through creating awareness about the disease and lobbying for change through legislative discussion.  Recently, the WA Teen Advocates have lobbied in support of school nutrition and diabetes care legislation in their state. 

“The Teen Advocate program is my favorite ADA activity.” said Taylor. “In this group we get to talk to our legislators about different diabetes related issues. I also get to hang out with other kids my age who have diabetes. Advocating is a fun way to stay involved!”

In May, Taylor and her family came to Washington, DC with other WA Teen Advocates to attend ADA’s 2008 Call to Congress.  Taylor’s younger siblings, Katie and Brenden, share their older sister’s enthusiasm for meeting with elected officials and talking about diabetes.  The entire family attends state lobby days in Olympia, WA to discuss legislation important to the diabetes community. 

The Duncan family’s battle with diabetes began in the summer of 1999, when Taylor suddenly became ill.  After one week and countless tests, doctors told her parents that Taylor had type 1 diabetes.  “We had no idea what diabetes was,” said Taylor.  “There was no family history.”

Soon after her diagnosis, Taylor and her family learned about the ADA.  “My mom really needed someone to talk to,” said Taylor.  “Everyone in the Spokane, WA office said the best thing to do was get involved in ADA events, so we could meet other families dealing with diabetes.”

And that’s exactly what they did.  In addition to their advocacy involvement, the Duncans participate in the Adam Morrison Golf Tournament, the Tour de Cure and Step Out: A Walk to Fight Diabetes, encouraging family and friends to donate or join their teams.  Taylor’s father, Ted Duncan, is an ADA staff member in the Spokane office.  “I love going to work with my dad.” said Taylor. “I am his helper, and the older I get, the more involved I get with ADA.”

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