As we got through the height of the pandemic in 2021 and moved into 2022, we believed that it would be a year of hope. And thanks to the support of our incredible community of donors, volunteers, supporters – we surpassed even our wildest expectations.
We opened the year with one of our biggest undertakings as an organization – our Let’s Make History Again fundraising event in support of our $100 Million Campaign to Accelerate. Five flagpoles and Leaders of History, four cities, 100 Ambassador of History families camping in the cold winter in solidarity. This was spearheaded by a passionate and dedicated JDRF volunteer, Peter Oliver, who himself camped atop a flagpole 30 years before, and whose daughter Vanessa was one of our Leaders in History in April. Sadly, Peter passed away in September, but we carry his spirit and devotion to finding cures for type 1 diabetes with us in everything we do. We are so grateful to our many volunteers, corporate sponsors and staff for taking Peter’s vision and making it reality. Read more about Peter Oliver’s incredible legacy.
Our community rallied in ways that we could not imagine, and it only continued throughout the year. Thanks to our JDRF supporters, we were able to continue advancing the most promising type 1 diabetes (T1D) research getting us closer to cures, while improving the lives of people affected by T1D today.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, JDRF had another ground-breaking year– dedicating more dollars to research, strengthening our strategic partnerships, continuing to support newly diagnosed families, and sharing the latest research updates with our community.
Some highlights over the past year included:
- The largest single donation in support of type 1 diabetes in Canada given by Temerty Foundation in support of $100 Million Campaign to Accelerate and Let’s Make History Again
- Through dedicated advocacy starting in 2017, Canadians with T1D now automatically qualify for the Disability Tax Credit
- The National Framework for Diabetes was formally tabled by the Government of Canada
- JDRF commissions cost effectiveness study to demonstrate real quality of life value of diabetes technologies
- The launch of the Global T1D Index, a first-of-its-kind index will raise awareness of the burden and unmet need of people living with type 1 diabetes around the world
- The renewed commitment to the JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes, matched by JDRF donors for a $30 million investment, with a focus on precision medicine, screening, and novel interventions into improved mental healthcare for people with T1D
- Reached thousands of Canadians through our Let’s Talk T1D Education Series, bringing experts into their homes to discuss topics important to them
- Coming back together again in person; along with continued virtual events, at our Walk, Ride and Starry Starry Night Gala in Winnipeg
- The DiaDigits calculator launched, a unique tool that allows someone to calculate in real numbers how much time is spent managing their T1D
- Increased public coverage of T1D devices in 7 provinces
In T1D research:
In Cell Replacement:
- JDRF Canada and Stem Cell Network announced the first recipient of the J. Andrew McKee Fellowship in Type 1 Diabetes with a second fellowship opportunity launched
- McGill University Health Centre designated provincial centre for islet transplantation for patients with type 1 diabetes.
- Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced they acquired ViaCyte to help speed up the development of Vertex’s stem cell-derived therapy for people with type 1 diabetes
In Disease-Modifying Therapies:
- Teplizumab was approved by the FDA in the USA. This drug has shown great promise as the first ever disease-modifying therapy for T1D, as it has been shown to significantly delay the onset of T1D.
In Treatments to Improve Lives:
- JDRF-funded researchers are performing advanced clinical trials on a once-daily therapeutic drug that restores glucagon secretion to prevent hypoglycemia, and if approved would be the first drug of its kind for people with type 1 diabetes.
- Funding programs devoted to improving mental health care and outcomes for people with T1D, including REACHOUT.
- In collaboration with CIHR, JDRF announced a major funding opportunity in screening for T1D risk
- JDRF continues to help facilitate screening for relatives of those with T1D at Sick Kids Hospital via TrialNet
To read more about research updates, please visit www.jdrf.ca/blog to see more stories about the incredible progress that took place over the last year in type 1 diabetes research and development.
It has never been a more exciting time in diabetes research and at JDRF. And together with our JDRF community, we believe that a world free from type 1 diabetes is closer than ever.