Local Teenager Becomes National Diabetes Advocate

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On Thursday, January 14 the American Diabetes Association (ADA) announced that Madison “Madi” Dodge will be the Association’s 2011 National Youth Advocate.  Madi, now 15 years of age, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the early age of 5 and has been raising awareness for the disease every since.  As National Youth Advocate for the ADA Madi will be traveling around the United States encouraging individuals to support and become active in the fight against diabetes. 

“I got involved with the ADA when I realized how much my life would have to change. At an early age I wanted to help find a cure and make it as easy as I could for others living with diabetes,” stated Madi.

Madi has been an active volunteer with ADA for the last 10 years, volunteering in the national Step Out Program and organizing many local fundraisers.  She has coordinated a walk team called “Madi’s Prayer”, Skate for the Cure and Dance for Diabetes. She is also a forum moderator on Planet D, a support message board for children and teens on the Association’s website.

Madi has applied every year for seven years to become the National Youth Advocate for ADA, in a process that includes kids from all over the United States.  Madi will head to Capitol Hill in March to speak to Congress about diabetes research and legislation that affect the diabetes community. She will get the chance to appear at the ADA Scientific Sessions in San Diego, which provides the latest education and information on diabetes, and travel to the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference in Orlando.  “I am so excited to meet a bunch of kids who share the same experiences,” commented Madi.

Locally, Madison has been involved with many other organizations in the town of Milford.  She loves to sing with her church choir at the Lutheran Church of Reformation and All-state choir.  She also participates in Delmarva’s Children Theatre and Second Street Players. She is interested in the field of journalism and started an online video journal that has been running for 3 years in hopes to find a career where she can continue writing.  

On January 26 she will head to the ADA headquarters to begin her training and orientation for the program.  She is excited about getting started and meeting other children with diabetes around the nation. “It makes me feel good to know that I will be an important part of their education about diabetes,” stated Madison. Her parents are very proud of what she has accomplished and eager to begin the process. “I think it is pretty amazing.  She has worked so hard and this will give her a great chance to meet her future goals,” commented her mother Wendy. 

To learn more about Madi and the Association’s advocacy efforts, please visit www.diabetes.org/nya.

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