A 15-year-old Abbotsford student recently returned from a trip to Ottawa after she was selected from among 150 applicants across Canada to be a youth delegate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Kids for a Cure.
Sophia Orth, a Grade 10 student at Yale Secondary who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 13 years ago, travelled with her mom Cyndi to bring forth five recommendations to help all diabetics nationally.
She was among 28 youth delegates who visited Parliament from Oct. 28 to 30. Orth partnered with another delegate and visited several members of Parliament to discuss the cause.
They met with Ed Fast of Abbotsford, Mark Strahl of Chilliwack, Jati Sidhu of Mission, Pam Goldsmith-Jones of West Vancouver, Rachel Blaney of North Island, David Yurdiga of Fort McMurray, Brad Trost of Saskatoon and Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas-Taylor.
The delegates shared their stories, hardships, and struggles of living with Type 1 diabetes.
They were invited to question period in the House of Commons, where they received a standing ovation for their efforts and the work they did in preparation for the lobby.
Orth has been involved with leadership and musical theatre at her school, and is on the honour roll. She has also been active in finding a cure for diabetes and regularly participates in the annual Walk for a Cure.
During her trip, she learned how all the delegates treat their diabetes, their emotional ups and downs, and realized that she is not alone.
She discovered how every province treats patients and their medical expenses so differently – for example, one province covers all expenses, while another does not cover anything.
Orth said she wants to continue to bring awareness and understanding of those living with the disease and let others know the importance of working towards finding a cure, improving the technology of devices, and improving accessibility to diabetes medication.