May 2015- Kyle in front of Washington DC WW2 memorial, 2 weeks after diagnosis. "Embarking on the great crusade" led me to found KCC.
Kyle James Thaller
Kyle is 19 years and is focused upon making a difference. He is a sophomore at the Westover Honors College at the University of Lynchburg and is currently serving as a member of the Student Government representing the class of 2025 as a Senator, is a member of the Student Judicial Board, and is a member of both the college Democrats and Republicans. His main ambition is to serve as a federal prosecutor and/or Foreign Service Officer prior to entering national politics and public service. Kyle had planned on attending the U.S. Naval Academy and becoming a Navy SEAL as a segue into this career. However, six years ago, Kyle was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes (T1D). Rather than giving up on his dreams, he resolved to become a global leader by "Saving Lives by Never Giving Up" and formed Kyle’s Campaigns for Change (KCC) with two areas of focus: Humanitarian and Policy. Over the past three years, KCC-Humanitarian has provided nearly two million dollars of diabetic supplies to diabetes clinics in Uganda, South Sudan, and Sudan. In 2019, Kyle gave several speeches on KCC and Africa's diabetic issues, including the Davos-on-the-Delta conference in Memphis, TN, and the Keynote Speech at the PWCS Global Leadership conference (audience of nearly 2,000) to a standing ovation. Kyle served as a U.S. Senate Page on behalf of Senator Mark Warner (Democrat-Virginia) living and attending school in Washington, D.C. while working in the U.S. Senate Chamber in the Spring 2020. He and 29 other young future leaders gained a unique perspective of federalism while closely interacting with our country's leadership. The Pages’ personalities were a mirror image of the United States, and so Kyle uniquely served as a bridge between the Republican and Democrat Pages’ polarizing views and helped everyone get along. This experience inspired Kyle to develop a project promoting federalism in South Sudan with nine Page classmates as part of the KCC-Policy arm. Until this time, formal Post-Page activities had never occurred in the 195-year history of the Senate Page program. Kyle and his team of ten former Pages, including Pages from both Republican and Democrat Majority/Minority Senators, multiple genders, and multiple races originated the "Federalist Letters of South Sudan," consisting of essays on various federalism-based concepts oriented to helping the new government of South Sudan avert a return to civil war and develop a new constitution. Kyle personally presented this project to the South Sudan First Vice President, the Minister of Federal Affairs, and several other Ministers in October 2020. Currently, KCC is developing a new program for young leaders in South Sudan called Row4Life (https://row4life.org/) that aims to bring the sport of Rowing to South Sudan as a means of creating the South Sudan leaders of tomorrow. Kyle has also served as the inspiration for other organizations, such as Spread Your Wings (https://www.syw-impact.org/), focused on empowering women in South Sudan and Help Kids 2 Live (https://helpkids2live.org), initially focused on an orphanage in South Sudan. Video clips and dozens of articles about Kyle and KCC can be found at https://KCC-T1D.com.
Being selected as a U.S. Senate Page was the high point of my life. Working shoulder to shoulder with and for our country's leaders has inspired me to someday serve our nation as a senior elected official. I am truly honored and thankful to Senator Mark Warner for this amazing opportunity.
A house can be rebuilt and a T1D can even be President... but only if he is alive!
Dear Representative Wittman:
I would like to attend the 2017 Diabetes Children’s Congress. I am in the 8th grade, and I was diagnosed with T1D on April 27, 2015, about 1.5 years ago. It all started when I was in 6th grade. I was feeling sick a lot, and was always very thirsty. My mom took me to the doctor’s office, and that’s where I was diagnosed. An ambulance then took me to the hospital where I got a shower of needles and lots of insulin. The doctors took good care of me, but then the most terrible news came to me that would change my life forever. Because I had T1D, I could not join the Navy and I could not attend the Naval Academy.
Ever since I was 5 years old I always wanted to serve my country by joining the Navy and attending the Naval Academy, just like my father, and just like my grandfather. Unfortunately, the Navy and the Naval Academy don’t admit Type-1 diabetics! I was crushed. I did not know what to do with my life. I sometimes cried for hours. Other times, it seems as if I was withdrawn from life entirely. I was staying up in my room for hours reading books, hoping that the bad dream would end and I would wake up cured. Then, a miracle happened. I read “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking is one of the world’s most famous theoretical physicists. Somehow, he did his amazing research on Black Holes and the origin of the universe while having ALS. Eventually, he had to be assisted with a wheelchair and a nurse all day. He could not even talk without the help of a machine. Even though he had a very bad disability, he did great things for the world. This is why he inspired me to not give up on my dreams. So, now my career choices are to be a theoretical physicist, a diabetic research scientist, an archeologist or a Secret Service Special Agent.
The coxswain in a crew boat is the leader of the boat. His job is to steer the boat and give the rowers orders. But, the most important part of being a coxswain is to motivate and inspire the rowers. But, what does it mean to be a leader? Does it mean to lead thousands of troops into battle like Napoleon or Julius Caesar? I don’t know. What I do know is that to be a leader and to do great things you have to be like a coxswain and steer the boat in the right direction, make sure the men are doing what they are supposed to do, and most importantly motivate and inspire them. So, my new career choices require me to be a leader, just like I wanted to be in the Navy. I have been preparing to be a coxswain in crew for the past 5 years to help me get accepted by the Naval Academy. I am very short, but also very strong. I can do almost 20 chin-ups! Now, I am hoping to be a crew coxswain for another school like MIT, Harvard or Duke.
So, Representative Wittman, I would like to attend the JDRF Children’s Congress because I think it will help me become a better leader so that I can inspire other diabetics to never give up on their dreams.
Kyle at the Mid-Atlantic Erg Championships -- 2016
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