Naples boy travels to D.C., pushes for diabetes research

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NAPLES, Fla. A 12-year-old ambassador with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation returned home to Naples on Thursday after sitting down with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to discuss type 1 diabetes research.

Lucas Lye was one of 160 children selected from across the country to make the trip to Capitol Hill. He sat with Sen. Bill Nelson, Rep. Francis Rooney and staff from the office of Sen. Marco Rubio.

“I thought that was the best experience I’ve ever had,” Lucas said. “I got to learn so much about government and how they vote on things.”

Lye, who’s dealt with the disease since he was 4, pushed to secure funding for diabetes research. The condition is forcing him to inject insulin on an increasingly frequent basis.

“It’s good to show the real struggle of it,” he said.

But the trip was meant to inspire more than just lawmakers. Lye and other child ambassadors were introduced through the foundation to actors and other prominent figures who have Type 1 diabetes.

“It can show kids what (they) could be, so that (they) can’t be held back from what they want to do, and what their dream is,” Lye said.

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