April 19, 2021
JDRF was founded over 40 years by a group of devoted parents to provide a voice for the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community – and with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for T1D so that their children and all those who came after could know a world free from the disease.
So, the National Volunteer Week theme for 2021, The Value of One, The Power of Many feels very fitting, as it reflects on the awe-inspiring acts of kindness by millions of individuals AND the magic that happens when we work together towards a common purpose.
This past year was one like no other, as the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives completely. But one thing shone that through the darkness was the continued caring and compassion that we received from our volunteers.
As our fundraising events moved virtual, and we all learned new ways of staying connected from the safety of our homes, a constant was the support of our dedicated group of volunteers.
The power of people working together can bring about amazing changes and progress. And this has certainly been true at JDRF. All the major developments in T1D research have been funded or supported in some way by JDRF. And none of this would have been possible without the support of our volunteers.
Among some of the highlights of the past year:
- We held our second research symposium, Bringing Breakthroughs to Life, with our partner Health Canada.
- We created our Let’s Talk T1D education and connection series, which provided our community with relevant information on topics such as devices and the opportunity to share personal experiences with each other.
- Sernova announced that patients in their ongoing clinical trial, funded in part by JDRF show persistent islet function and clinically meaningful improvement in glucose control.
- With volunteers by our side, we continued our advocacy efforts federally to push for a renewal of research funding and provincially to demand #AccessforAll – affordable and accessible diabetes technologies for all Canadians living with T1D.
- Ustekinumab, a potentially disease modifying drug for type 1 diabetes, is now being tested in clinical trials in Canada.
- And most recently we’ve been advocating across the provinces to ensure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for people living with T1D.
The National Volunteer Week theme is a nod to the past, a reflection of the present, and a wink to the future. The Value of One, the Power of Many was also the theme for National Volunteer Week in 2001, The International Year of Volunteers.
It was chosen again as it beautifully captures both the individual and collective efforts that have been demonstrated over and over again during the pandemic, as well as setting the tone for the next 20 years as the value of one act and the power of many helps us thrive collectively.
And it feels appropriate too for JDRF, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the insulin hormone and look ahead to aggressively pursuing research that bring us closer to a cure. We know that this will only be achieved with the continued strength of our volunteers.
While we acknowledge our volunteers during this week, we our thankful and grateful for al they do each and every day.
We have over 500 volunteers across Canada, who have been with us for over 5 years.
While some choose to remain anonymous, we recognize them here:
Prince Edward Island:
Ralph & Pearl D’Eon
Justin Vineberg & family
Robert & Rhoda Vineberg
The Nerby Family
Trudy & Jeff Adams
Annette Loebach Bater
Linda & Dean McNamara
Bonnie & Terry Jackson
Emma & Chris Marineau
Rohan & Nishi Sikri
Candice & Ken Trickey
The Stimpson family
The Argo Family
Nadia Klun Stadler
The Rowe Family
Deb & Frank Key
Kris & Ashit Dattani
Mary Jane Devine