My son and I met with Sen. Orrin Hatch some 13 years ago to discuss Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and the need for a cure for this difficult disease. At that time, Hatch promised to help us with this lofty goal. Last month, I was again on Capitol Hill to celebrate the renewal of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) and to thank Hatch for his longstanding commitment.

Hatch has been an unwavering champion of this program, which provides critical research that has directly impacted the life of those with diabetes. Virtually every piece of technology used to manage this relentless disease can trace its roots to SDP research.

Thank you, Sen. Hatch, for your unwavering support. Thank you, for realizing a cure can’t be found without research. Thank you, for seeing the need for better tools, technology and therapies. Thank you, for supporting the NIH. Thank you, for understanding that better health also equates to saving millions in health care costs. Thank you, for caring about my son and the many others with T1D.

As your distinguished career in the Senate comes to an end, your contributions to Utah’s T1D community will not be forgotten.

Lisa Haslam, Salt Lake City