Competing for a Cure

There are many different ways you can raise money for JDRF and help us improve the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). With JDRF’s “Fundraise You Way” program, you can create your own fundraising event for JDRF. Whether it’s a personal campaign to honour a loved one, a community event like a walk or bowl-a-thon, or even a challenge, there are endless ways you can organize an exciting fundraiser in your community and have fun while raising funds for a great cause.

Charlie and Geoff from, from Guelph, Ontario, created an exciting fundraiser called Competing for a Cure, and were successful in raising $5,390 for T1D research this year, exceeding their goal of $5,000. Charlie has been fundraising for JDRF for 11 years now and has personally raised over $95,000 for T1D research.

Q. What is Competing for a Cure?

A. Competing for a Cure is a fundraiser that my grandson, Geoffrey, and I organized. We compete in several triathlons each summer to raise money for T1D. On September 13, 2013, I competed with Team Canada in the World Triathlon Championships in London, UK. The triathlons are an athletic contest that consist of three different events and which include swimming, cycling and running.

Q.  What made you want to organize Competing for a Cure?

A. My grandson Geoffrey, now 18, was diagnosed with T1D in February 2003 when he was only seven. I was 65 and had just retired. I decided to run the Toronto Marathon in October 2003 to raise money for JDRF. After that we wanted to do more to raise money for diabetes research and with JDRF’s Fundraise Your Way program; we really had the freedom to fundraise any way that interested us. Since Geoff and I are both extremely athletic, we decided a triathlon type challenge would be an exciting and fun way for us to fundraise. Each summer since, I have used a personal athletic event as the basis for my fundraising. I’ve cycled in the “JDRF Ride to Cure” in Sonoma, CA for four summers, the Cyclebetes relay ride across Canada from Halifax to Victoria for two summers, and have competed in many triathlons for the past four summers.   

Q. How do you fundraise and what makes you so successful?

A. I find fundraising is difficult to do face to face, but emailing with an appealing message about an athletic race I am participating in, makes it really easy.  The first year I began fundraising for JDRF I emailed everyone on my contact list with a request for support prior to the race. There were about 500 people:  family, friends, neighbours, business associates, and people I worked with or people who had worked for me. Approximately 100 people contributed and I raised over $6,000 for JDRF that year. I always make sure I thank every donor personally or via email!  Now, each year I create a fundraising page with the help of Amy Ryan from JDRF’s National Support Office. I email the link to this page to about 600 people on my contact list.  Email is really the source of 98 percent of my fundraising.

Thank you Charlie and Geoff for your amazing fundraising efforts! With your help we can continue to fund critical diabetes research to cure, better treat and prevent T1D.

To learn more about how you can create your own fundraising event through JDRF’s Fundraise Your Way program, please visit

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