CONGRATULATING MISS OLIVIA EVANS UPON RECEIVING THE SPIRIT OF WOMEN FOUNDATION'S REGIONAL SPIRIT OF WOMEN AWARD -- (Extensions of Remarks - June 14, 2004)
HON. JIM COOPER
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2004
Mr. COOPER. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take a few moments today to recognize an extraordinary young woman from Nashville, Olivia Evans.
Olivia is 13 years old and was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes three years ago. Rather than allowing this disease to defeat her, Olivia has become a tireless advocate for diabetes research and the search for a cure. I first met Olivia in my Nashville office this spring and was impressed from the start by both her courage and charisma.
I am proud to say that her advocacy has also recently won her wider recognition. Olivia was just named the winner of the Spirit of Women Foundation's regional youth Spirit of Women Award for her work on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This award is generally reserved for young women aged 14 and older, which makes Olivia's achievement all the more remarkable. In addition, Olivia was one of only two Tennessee delegates to the 2003 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Children's Congress, which came to Washington to raise awareness about diabetes research among national policymakers.
Type I diabetes currently afflicts 1.3 million Americans, and there are 13,000 new diagnoses of juvenile diabetes every year. Olivia is fighting hard to educate all of us on the importance of funding research and finding a cure. The sooner we find a solution, the sooner we can ensure that Olivia will grow to lead a life that is unburdened by the complications of diabetes.
I applaud the Spirit of Women Foundation for recognizing this remarkable young woman, and I congratulate Olivia on her achievement. I call on my colleagues to further honor Olivia and the thousands of American children like her who live with diabetes by supporting all efforts to find a cure now.