Zionsville student advocates for Type-1 diabetes


On July 9, 12-year-old Zionsville resident Sophia Hollis traveled to Washington D.C., to join a delegation of her peers and celebrity advocates at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 2023 Children’s Congress.

The JDRF has a mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat Type 1 diabetes and its complications.

The event involved more than 160 children with Type 1 diabetes who met with some of the top decision-makers in the U.S. Government, such as Indiana’s U.S. Sens. Mike Braun and Todd Young, to inform them of the role they can play in supporting the T1D community.

Hollis, diagnosed with TD1 at age 3, participated in leadership and character-building programming, interacted with diabetes role models and engaged in several activities on Capitol Hill, including attending a Senate hearing to share personal testimonies about the challenges of living with T1D.

“I was excited to go to Washington D.C., and educate lawmakers on life with T1D,” Hollis said. “Living with T1D impacts the smallest things, such as going to school or hanging out with my friends.”

During the JDRF Children’s Congress, Hollis visited Capitol Hill and shared her story with Braun and Young.

“It was a fun journey having the ability to spread awareness, share my story and make sure people know about all the things I have gone through,” Hollis said. “I want to raise awareness to find a cure.”

At the conference, the JDRS invited T1D role models, people who do things they love regardless of their chronic illnesses. Hollis said the role models made her feel like she could do anything she put her mind to.

Hollis’ mother, Kim Hollis, feels honored that her daughter was chosen for this opportunity and given a platform to inform others about what it is like to live with T1D.

“I hope that when legislation regarding T1D comes across the senators’ desk, they will remember Sophia and her story, and it will impact how they vote,” Kim said.

The Hollis family got involved with JDRF through Riley Hospital for Children, where Hollis’ father, Mark Hollis, is ending his three-year term as president of the JDRF.

“We decided JDRF was a great place for us to launch our involvement and have been actively involved with them since she was a child,” Kim said. “As of today, our family has raised almost $200,000 in our seven years of fundraising to help find a cure.”

For more about JDRF, visit jdrf.org.