Oh, what a year it's been

Philip WelfordJanuary is a time for reflection; a time to look back on the last year and celebrate the many significant milestones that have been achieved. For JDRF, it is also a time to look forward and start making ambitious plans that will continue to accelerate preventions, better treatments, and ultimately a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications. 2012 saw some truly amazing milestones at JDRF and some inspiring initiatives that helped raise awareness for T1D and the need for further commitment to diabetes research in Canada.

JDRF saw another successful year of signature events across Canada in 2012. Last year alone, the TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes and the JDRF Ride for Diabetes Research together raised over $14.5 million for diabetes research; an achievement that simply could not have happened without the support of our participants, fundraisers, donors, and volunteers. Your support has set JDRF in good stead for 2013. We have accomplished so much over the years. Now, thanks to you, we are poised to accomplish even more.

When reflecting on major milestones in diabetes research, one cannot forget the tremendous progress made by the JDRF Canadian Clinical Trial Network (CCTN). JDRF CCTN is a groundbreaking effort to accelerate solutions for the management, care, and cure of T1D. In 2012, JDRF not only met but exceeded its goals by launching nine clinical trials (several of which are Artificial Pancreas-related) as well as two Research and Development projects. Many of these CCTN trials are also collaborating with international groups in eight countries making this a truly global network. We are incredibly proud to be a leader in the advancement of clinical trials of leading-edge treatments and technologies for T1D here in Canada and around the globe.

JDRF CCTN is just the beginning. The groundwork has been laid, but there is still much work to be done. This message could not have been heard more clearly than on November 27th when 40 children living with T1D traveled to Ottawa with their families to meet with their Members of Parliament and Senators as part of JDRF’s Kids for a Cure Day. These 40 Living Proof Champions discussed the challenges they face living with T1D and the importance of expanding JDRF CCTN. Through this event, JDRF was able to identify new champions on Parliament Hill to help increase awareness of T1D and JDRF. We are grateful to our JDRF Living Proof Champions and their families for making this such a successful and inspirational experience.

Affecting more than 300,000 Canadians, T1D is the most severe form of diabetes and can strike children, teens and adults, at any age, leaving them dependent on injected or pumped insulin for life. They are the reason JDRF exists and remain at the forefront of everything we do. As we look ahead to 2013, it is their stories that motivate us to work harder, push further, and aim higher as we continue our mission of finding a cure for T1D and its complications. Together, we have taken significant steps that have helped discover, develop, and deliver advances that cure, better treat, and prevent T1D.

Together, we can make 2013 another milestone year.


Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, JDRF Canada
Former political staffer, businessman, entrepreneur, truck driver, and – best of all – farmer.

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Lets turn type one into type none