Today's Feel Good Friday organization is inspired by the recent passing of Mary Tyler Moore. She was a longtime supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) so I decided to learn more about their work and share that information here.
Created in 1970 as the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the name has morphed over time into JDRF to emphasize the focus on research and acknowledge that type 1 diabetes affects both children and adults.
As summarized on the website, "JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our strength lies in our exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D." Their vision is "A world without type 1 diabetes".
Information on the website explains that T1D "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. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. 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 there is no cure."
This is why, to date, JDRF has contributed more than $2 billion to T1D research and is currently funding 50 clinical trials of potential therapies. They have 96 US locations and 6 international affiliates all with the same mission, "accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications." The JDRF website also has many online resources for people living with T1D including information, support groups and forums and care kits for children and adults.
To support the work of JDRF there are many ways to get involved. You can become an advocate or volunteer, you can participate in a local fundraising event such as a walk, bike ride or golf tournament or you can make a straight up donation.
You can also visit the Mary Tyler Moore tribute site to share your story and stay in the loop year round by liking the JDRF Facebook page and following them on Twitter @JDRF. Now go out on this Feel Good Friday and turn the world on with your smile.