On a mission – the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Article and photo by Elise Brassell
About one and one-quarter million Americans have type 1 diabetes (T1D), an auto-immune disease that strikes suddenly regardless of diet or lifestyle, can’t be prevented, and has no cure.
T1D causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin – a hormone the body needs to get energy from food. For people with T1D, this means developing a new understanding of how to monitor and manage the body’s blood-sugar level, and learning how to inject or infuse insulin into the body.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to find a cure for T1D, with a special focus on children. Hannah Hoogenboom, development director of JDRF’s Rocky Mountain chapter said, “Thanks to donations, JDRF is able to pursue a diversified, dynamic research agenda that is moving us ever closer to a world without T1D! This fiscal year, the Rocky Mountain chapter raised over $2.67 million and has over 35,000 people engaged.”
Each year, the Rocky Mountain chapter holds the JDRF One Walk to raise funds for research, which this year included about 8,000 participants, including several families from Timber Trail Elementary School. The Fields family, whose fourth-grade son Nathan was recently diagnosed with T1D, were among the participants.
“The JDRF walk for us was bitter sweet. To see all of those children with T1D was heart breaking,” said Pam Fields, mother of Nathan. “But the thousands of people there to support JDRF was amazing. It reinforced that we are not alone in this battle. This disease is something that these kids have to deal with every single minute of every day and night. These families never get a break from it or from the worry about the possible long term issues they could have. Going to the walk and knowing all of those people are there to help research to find a cure, gave us hope that someday no child or family will have to deal with this ever again,” she said$2.
JDRF was founded by parents determined to find a cure for their children with T1D. To date, the organization has funded more than $2 billion in research. Every dollar that JDRF contributes toward research comes from donations. To learn more about the organization, to donate, or discover more ways to help through the Rocky Mountain chapter, visit JDRF.org/rockymountain.
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