BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Fourteen-year-old Ben Cornell was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was ten years old. He's now advocating for research funding to find a cure for the autoimmune illness.
He will be among the guests attending Tuesday night's State of the Union Address after receiving an invite from Congressman Tom Reed.
"It's a struggle it's not very easy, and it's always like, there. You never really get a break," he said. "I didn't want to have it anymore, and just anything anybody can do to help it just makes us that much closer."
Supporting Cornell is Edward Dickey, Board President of the WNY chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. His daughter has type 1 as well.
"Thankfully there's technologies that have come along in the last ten years that have made life easier to live with but it is by no means a cure," he said. "Insulin is by no means a cure, we need to continue to fund research and try to find a cure for diabetes."
Another major issue type one diabetics face is insulin affordability. The price of the vital drug has skyrocketed over the last decade, leading people to crossing over the border to Canada to get it for a cheaper price, or more dangerously - rationing their insulin.
But Dickey is hopeful a cure will be found.
"In the last six months the Special Diabetes Program, the SDP, was approved by Congress and gave us $97 million over the last six moths to help find a cure for diabetes," he said.
Dickey said it's important to get a multi-year approval of that agreement so JDRF does not have to worry about research money.