Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is a not-for-profit organization that raises money for research to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes and its complications.

The JDRF was founded in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Since its founding, the organization has awarded over $1.16 billion to diabetes research, including more than $137 million in fiscal year 2007. One of JDRF's major contributors is former Chicago Cubs All-Star 3rd baseman Ron Santo. Also in FY 2007, the Foundation has funded 700 centers, grants, and fellowships in 20 countries. More than 85 percent of the Foundation's expenditures directly support research and research-related education.

Fundraising

JDRF's largest fundraising event, is the nationally known Walk to Cure DiabetesFact|date=January 2008. Events are held across the country to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes and raise money to be put towards research. They also host galas, Rides to Cure Diabetes for bicycle enthusiasts, and golf events. JDRF also accepts donations via mail or their website. JDRF is constantly revamping its fundraising efforts each year. The most recent development is an event that takes place one weekend in mid June. The event is JDRF's Children Congress and is held every two years in Washington D.C. Children ranging in ages 4 to 17 are selected from each state to become their states delegate while in Washington D.C. The delegates are the liaison between the state and the government; they attend meetings, press conferences, and dinner galas throughout the weekend. The ultimate goal of the Children's Congress is continue the constant push in the government for continued funding for Diabetes research. [1]

Research

Currently, the organization has five therapeutic research targets:

Autoimmunity: A key part of JDRF's research is aimed at stopping or reversing the immune system response that causes diabetes: the attack on insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. This attack must be stopped so that any therapies involving replacing or regenerating insulin-producing cells can work long-termFact|date=January 2008.

Regeneration: Among the fastest-growing scientific areas JDRF supports is research aimed at regenerating insulin producing cells in people who have diabetes (as opposed to transplanting cells from organ donors or other sources). This involves triggering the body to grow its own new insulin producing cells, either by copying existing ones - some are usually still active, even in people who have had diabetes for decades - or causing the pancreas to create new onesFact|date=January 2008.

Replacement: An alternative to sparking the body into growing new insulin-producing cells is replacing cells killed off by diabetes with functioning ones from a donor - similar to a heart or kidney transplant. Beyond improving transplantation techniques, our research is focused on increasing the supply of cells that can be transplanted - from animals, like pigs, or by finding ways to change different types of cells, such as liver cells, or coaxing adult or embryonic stem cells into becoming insulin-producing cellsFact|date=January 2008.

Complications: A significant part of JDRF's research is focused on understanding how diabetes causes complications, and developing drugs, treatments, and therapies to stop that process, or reverse the impact of the different types of individual complications. Diabetes-related complications include eye disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, and heart disease and stroke.

Metabolic Control: Treatments that continually monitor the body's blood sugar levels and automatically respond with the correct dose of insulin would significantly enhance metabolic control. JDRF research is focused on demonstrating that advanced monitoring tools improves the health of people with diabetes, and on developing technologies that link insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. Such a "closed loop" system would, in effect, be an artificial pancreasFact|date=January 2008.

Location

The JDRF is headquartered in New York, at 120 Wall Street. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation. Its international spokesperson is Mary Tyler Moore who appears in public service announcements for the organization.

External links

* [http://www.jdrf.org Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: Official Website]
* [http://walk.jdrf.org Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: Walk to Cure Diabetes]
* The [http://www.immunetolerance.org Immune Tolerance Network] is a clinical research consortium funded in part by the JDRF
* [http://www.thisoldcub.com Profits] from sales of the DVD "This Old Cub," featuring the struggles with diabetes of former Chicago Cubs star Ron Santo, are donated to JDRF via Walgreens drug stores and the Chicago Tribune.
* The [http://www.jdrfoc.org Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Orange County Chapter] Orange County Chapter
* The [http://www.jdrf.org/minnesota Minnesota Chapter of the Junvenile Diabetes Research Foundation]
* The [http://www.jdrf.org/tulsa-green Tulsa Oklahoma Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation]


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