Cause: Funding for diabetes research that will end Sept. 30, unless Congress votes to keep it in place.
Celeb: Silver-maned actor Victor Garber, known for his roles on “Alias” and “The Slap,” who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as an 11-year-old.
Scene: A hearing before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, attended by more children and teens than your usual congressional gathering (those would be the delegates from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).
Sound bite: Garber lightened up his testimony, in which he described his mother’s terror when he was diagnosed, with stories of getting his acting off the ground and managing his treatment with the itinerant life of an aspiring performer. It was only determination, he said, that kept him from becoming discouraged, and it was advances in treatment that allowed him to continue the “erratic” lifestyle of an actor.
He said he left home at 16 to pursue his “show-business dream,” adding air quotes around the phrase to play down the glamour. “I was a folk singer, a dishwasher, and I played tiny parts in TV shows and movies — hard enough for any teenager,” he said. “But balancing that with blood sugars with inexplicable highs and lows, making healthy food choices and getting proper rest was daunting.”
Garber also got emotional when he urged Congress to act to make insulin affordable: “The idea that someone has to ration insulin in 2019 due to greed and avarice is unconscionable.”