Each year at the Hope Gala, JDRF presents the Living & Giving Award to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to our mission of accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, treat, and prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications. The 2018 honorees are the Kurtzig family: Andy, Sara, Jamie, Kelly, and Kai.
Andy and Sara, both passionate philanthropists, are driven by a personal interest in finding a cure for T1D. Eleven years ago, their daughter Jamie was diagnosed with the disease at only 19 months old. Since then, Sara and Andy have been committed to supporting development of new devices and finding a cure.
In 2008, Andy and Sara founded the Royal Ball — a festive family gala benefiting JDRF. Jamie, now 13, inspired the creation of the event at the age of three. Jamie would often see her parents attend JDRF fundraising events, but did not understand why children impacted by the disease were not included. The Kurtzigs fixed that by creating The Royal Ball – and in six years, the annual event has raised more than $1 million for JDRF.
Today, Jamie writes a popular monthly blog for jdrf.org, sharing her day-to-day experiences living with the Medtronic MiniMed 670G closed-loop “Artificial Pancreas.” The family also participates in the JDRF One Walk, and has banded together with Jamie’s schoolmates to form their team “San Domenico Cares.” Last year, they were one of the top performing teams at the Walk in San Francisco, raising more than $53,000. Jamie will be the Fund A Cure speaker at the 2018 Hope Gala. To make a donation, please click here.
Sara and Andy have been involved with JDRF since Jamie was diagnosed 11 years ago. They are active members of the support group T1D Marin, founded by Marcena Hopkins Peterson.
After starting T1D Marin, the Kurtzigs opened their home to us for fun-filled parties and events. At any T1D gathering you will see either Sara or Andy (usually in his signature Hawaiian shirt), offering their support, wisdom, strength and humor. In addition, Jamie, at such a tender young age has served as a tireless advocate for our children. She is a model for her peers in our community! – Marcena Hopkins Peterson, founder of T1D Marin.
Sara has spent countless hours in the last decade working as a volunteer for JDRF and chairing the Royal Ball six times. Previously, she was a technology investment banker at Robertson Stephens during the internet heyday. She also serves as the VP of Community Building at her children’s school and works as a Cycle instructor at the Dailey Method.
Andy is the founder and CEO of JustAnswer, the world’s largest Expert site connecting people with doctors, lawyers, mechanics, tech support, and other professionals 24/7. Over the years, JustAnswer has made many notable corporate donations to JDRF.
Andy and Sara live in the Bay Area with their three children – Jamie, Kelly, and Kai. JDRF is pleased to present this year’s Living & Giving Award to The Kurtzig Family. Thank you and congratulations!