Approximately 532,600 people in Arizona have diabetes, 10 percent of whom are type 1 diabetes patients.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone people need to get energy from food. T1D strikes both children and adults at any age and suddenly. Though T1D’s causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers play a role. There is currently nothing you can do to prevent it, and at present, there is no cure.
That’s the motivation and vision for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation—a world without type 1 diabetes.
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. This organization has a local chapter that works hard year-round to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, treat and prevent T1D.
“Just to give you an idea of all the hard work we do each day, we delivered 350 Bags of Hope, 100-plus Adult Care Kits and 150-plus Resource Toolkits this year," says JDRF Outreach Manager Wendi Willock. "We’ve also paired over 100 newly diagnosed families with a mentor and held over 50 school and nurse training events which helped to assist 600 families and/or medical staff. We host several outreach events for the T1D community and had over 15,000 people attend our annual walk."
JDRF Arizona Chapter is a wonderful organization to be involved in as a family, as children benefit from learning and understanding that kids and adults with T1D are just like everyone else.
“Family involvement allows people to see firsthand what life is like with T1D and the importance of finding a cure," Wendi says. "Children gain knowledge to advocate and educate in the community."
For children with T1D, JDRF offers a sense of community they don’t often feel elsewhere—a chance to develop friendships with other children and know they aren’t alone in this journey.
How Can My Family Get Involved with the JDRF?
1. Attend a JDRF event.
Whether you register guests at a gala, pass out T-shirts at JDRF One Walk or set up a silent auction, you’ll meet great people and play a part in an important mission.
2. Volunteer at the JDRF Arizona Chapter office.
From office support to event planning, your talents can make a huge local difference.
3. Be a JDRF leader.
By serving on a JDRF committee, you’ll partner with JDRF employees to facilitate events that raise money for T1D research.
“Throughout the year, the JDRF Arizona Chapter holds a gala, two walks, more than six outreach events, a weekend camp for kids and participates in six national ride events," Wendi says. "All the proceeds from these signature events go toward funding research, advocating for government support of research and new therapies, ensuring new therapies come to market and connecting and engaging the T1D community."
Creating awareness and educating the community in any facet provides huge strides forward for the JDRF. The comradery felt is the perfect way for any family to focus on charity work in their community and make a difference. To learn more and to get involved, call 602.224.1800 or visit JDRF.org/Arizona.