Youth’s spirit should inspire

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Six-year-old Cassidy Franklin is battling — and beating — a disease that many people far older struggle to overcome.

For her courage and strength to deal with juvenile diabetes, Cassidy will get the chance to do something else that most adults will never experience: Speak to the U.S. Congress.

The South Point youth was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when she was just 18 months old. She will now have the chance to talk to lawmakers in the nation’s capital as part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Children’s Congress 2009.

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Fighting a disease affecting more than 2 million Americans, Cassidy and her mother, Niccole, have worked to raise money for research and also just raise awareness.

The youth competed against more than 1,500 children from across the nation to earn the right to join the 150 youth who will sit in front of Congress and share their stories.

Niccole and the rest of the family deserve credit as well since they have raised more than $5,000 for research through fund-raisers.

Ask many children whom they look up to and many will quickly tell you that it is Mom or Dad.

It is not too often that Mom says it is the child that is her hero.

Each and every person can take something from the Franklins’ story, a testament that even the youngest among us has an inner strength and a will to overcome, if they know where to look for it.

We hope Congress pays careful attention to Cassidy and the other youth who will visit.

Each and every one has a story to tell and it is vitally important our lawmakers listen.