I’ve been involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for a number of years. What started as a job became much more. So many great people came into my life during my four year tenure, leaving an indelible mark on my soul. I am so thankful to have remained very close to them after all these years. After deciding to return to college full time my friend Deniz, who was the director of the JDRF Seattle Guild at the time, asked me to help out with their annual gala. That was the start of a very rewarding volunteering experience that continues today.
Last Saturday was spent with friends and fellow Guild members setting up for the Annual Dream Gala culminating in another incredible evening and event. This event is the fundraising event in our area. But it is not only the premier event for the Greater Seattle area, it sets the gold standard for all the galas within JDRF organization-wide. Our gala is the single-largest gala for JDRF, has the lowest expense/income ratio and has one of the highest corporate sponsorship retention rates. On Saturday’s event we raised $3.4 million for diabetes research bring our 22 year total to $49 million! Since JDRF funds the best cutting-edge diabetes research in the world, these funds are critical in keeping research on an aggressive path. We are so lucky to fund some of the best international research here in Seattle at The Benaroya Research Institute and the University of Washington.
JDRF is simply amazing. Since its inception they have made ‘research-sharing’ a mandatory requirement for anyone receiving funding from the organization. This should tell you how serious they are in finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. JDRF is currently funding 40 human clinical trials and is working on the world’s first artificial pancreas, a project I am most excited about because it marries research, medicine and technology and when brought to market, will dramatically change people’s lives. So last Saturday was a great day – spent with wonderful people working on an important cause. Thanks to all the donors who helped make this year’s event another success, especially my friends Heidi, Michelle, Kristen, Chris and Duell for donating to the event. Congrats to all the committed, unwavering chairs, committee members, Guild members and volunteers. Your countless hours and hard effort paid off! If any organization can change the world by curing a disease, it is JDRF.