Turning Type One into Type None!

I have diabetes and at my age (no comment) many people erroneously assume I have type II (commonly called adult onset diabetes).  When I explain that I am Type I (originally known as juvenile diabetes) and have had the disease for 38 years I usually see raised eyebrows followed by

Wow! You don’t look diabetic! I mean, you’re thin and look so healthy!”old-40100_6401


I don’t take it as an insult, but this response is a reminder of how many misconceptions there are about both type I and type II diabetes. Type 2 affects about 90 percent of diabetics while Type 1 affects roughly 10 percent of all diabetics.

 According to the NIH

By age 18, approximately 1 in 300 people in the United States develop type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that destroys the insulin producing cells within the pancreas. Without injections of insulin, the Type 1 diabetic would not survive. Click here to see the difference between Type 1 and Type 2.

This summer I am completing internship requirements for my degree in communications.  Thanks to a good friend who just graduated from the program, I found a perfect internship at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s North Florida Chapter. I help a hard-working staff of three and a myriad of dedicated volunteers who raise money for research and community outreach. Nationally, the JDRF organization has been around since 1970.  The main mission is to fund research to improve the treatments of Type One diabetes (T1D) and hopefully find a cure – Turning Type One into Type None! jdrf

What does the JDRF do?

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, policy influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.

JDRF’s highest priority remains funding research to deliver a cure for T1D and its complications. At the same time, JDRF is also focused on developing better treatments that will transform the way people with T1D treat the disease today, in order to help them live healthier lives now and in the future. Finally, JDRF also seeks to prevent T1D, to keep future generations from developing the disease.hero-research-male-scientist

This is all part of JDRF’s promise of “less until none”: to progressively remove the impact of T1D from the lives of those living with the disease until it is no longer a threat to them or their families.

Currently, JDRF is funding more than 50 human clinical trials, several of which are in the advanced stages of clinical testing needed before FDA approvals can be sought.

JDRF’s influence and leadership extends beyond funding research. We strategically partner with industry, governments, foundations, academia, healthcare insurers, and clinicians to ensure that JDRF and its partners are aligned and working toward a common goal of a world without T1D.

The North Florida Chapter – The Coolest place to work!

Our local chapter of JDRF covers an area encompassing 36 counties.  We have large and small fund-raising events throughout the year.  The most well-known events include our annual walk, the Gala, and bike ride.  However, events occur all year so anyone can get involved in helping  create a cure for T1D.

Our North Florida office is located at:11750685_10155802775440223_2523091286320753442_n

Pam, Candace, Board President Greg Carroll, Brooks Biagini They're not short - he's really tall!
Pam, Candace, Board President, Greg Carroll, Brooks Biagini
They’re not short – he’s really tall!

9700 Philips Highway, Suite 106, Jacksonville, FL 32256

(phone) 904.739.2101

(fax) 904.739.2693


I had the honor of speaking briefly about my lifelong relationship with JDRF at our last board meeting. It was my first opportunity to meet members of the board and express my thanks to them personally for the hard work and long hours they volunteer to JDRF.  This is an amazing group of people from our community who work tirelessly to support our mission to end T1D.  And I’m so very lucky to work with three amazing people, Brooks Biagini (Executive Director), Pam Williams (Outreach Coordinator), and Candace Monroe (Development Manager).  These three are the driving force behind the Northern Florida Chapter’s continued success. I am amazed every day at their dedication and commitment to funding a cure for T1D.

Ways to become involved

No matter what time or resources you have, there’s something you can do to help any chapter of JDRF.  Volunteers are needed for a large variety of tasks.  People help in the office, work within the community supporting various events, raise funds, help plan and promote events, offer professional services free of charge, and much more. From a few minutes to a few hours, there’s always ways you can help keep the mission going.

Like to shop?

You can purchase fantastic greeting cards and 20% of the cost goes to the JDRF. visit the merchandising site for other opportunities to help the JDRF through your normal purchases.

Attend an event

One of the best ways to help without the commitment of a regular block of time is to attend one of JDRF’s fantastic events.  For those that enjoy socializing and physical activity JDRF’s One Walk and Ride to Cure bike rides offer the perfect combination of both.   

Do you like a fancy soiree? Attend the annual Gala for a night of cocktails, dinner, dancing, and live auctions and silent auctions. This year’s theme is “One Night in Paris”.  


This year we’ll be at Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra Beach on October 10th from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Individual tickets are available, but you’ll get a great bang for your buck if you and friends pool your resources and get a table of ten.  Businesses can become corporate sponsors and have the benefit of advertising in the program.  People and businesses can donate items or services, for the auction.  Big or small, the proceeds all go to fund research into treating and curing T1D.

Over 400 people will attend so there a lot of people with varied interests and budgets.  Help make this a great night for raising funds to support our research.

A few Donation Ideas for North Florida’s Gala, “One Night in Paris”

  • any items that can be included in a gift basket – we’ll build it for you!
  • Products, services, or retail items
  • Frequent Flyer Miles
  • art
  • gift baskets
  • vacation time shares
  • gift cards
  • a check for any amount
  • Anything you think people might like to bid on! There’s no gift too small.

Call Candace Monroe for details or if you need us to pickup an item. 904.739.2101 

What JDRF can do for a community

Our outreach programs are for those with T1D and their families.  Educational programs, support for newly diagnosed diabetics, social events for adults with T1D, children and family events, and advocacy on behalf of people living with T1D are just part of what we do. JDRF works hard to create a supportive environment for anyone affected by T1D.  Many parents feel overwhelmed when their child is diagnosed and  JDRF offers education, tools, support, and connection to others experiencing the same issues.

Being on the forefront of new technology and medical innovation, the JDRF is a go to source for any questions regarding T1D. I encourage people to spread the word about the great work this organization does. If you’re affected by T1D or know someone who is, consider volunteering or giving a donation of any amount to your local chapter.

Having lived with diabetes for 38 years, it is my goal to see a day where T1D is a thing of the past.  If you contact my office….tell them Bowen sent you and Help Make Type One, Type None!

berry college


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s