State Representative Mike Tryon explains, "I, along with House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and State Representative Jim Durkin (R-LaGrange) announced the formation of a bipartisan legislative Diabetes Caucus,"
The reason is diabetes is a disease that affects a growing number of Illinois families each year. Today almost 10% of Illinoisans suffer from either Type I or Type II diabetes, and this new caucus will bring a bipartisan approach to diabetes prevention, awareness and treatment.
The steering committee for the caucus includes eight members, and for most the issue of diabetes is a very personal one. Tryon says, "I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2006 and living with diabetes has been life-changing. Through my own research I have found that many Illinois families struggle to find sufficient information and resources that can help them manage symptoms and maintain a maximum quality of life. "
For Leader Cross and Representative Jim Durkin (R-LaGrange), diabetes affects family members. Both have children with Type I diabetes. Representative Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) is also on the steering committee. She represents District 4 which includes Humboldt Park. According to Soto, Humboldt Park has been identified as the community with the highest percentage of people living with diabetes in the state.
Tryon explains that the group has been meeting regularly since January and they have been approached by many corporate and non-profit agencies that are willing to help with outreach efforts.
The steering committee’s goals include:
Seek needed legislation and evaluate filed legislation that affects people with diabetes
Promote prevention education, available treatments and public programs that assist people with diabetes
Reach out to agencies that assist people with diabetes
Engage in outreach efforts between the caucus, its supporting agencies and people who suffer from diabetes
I also want to take this opportunity to provide an update on important financial legislation that is moving through the House of Representatives.