Tara Wilcox-Ghanoonparvar, 212-479-7524; firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, NY, July 30, 2013 ― JDRF presented its Jim Tyree Chairman’s Choice Award yesterday to longtime volunteer and leader Cynthia Ford for her significant contributions to JDRF on behalf of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), including her son, Albert. The annual award was given during a special ceremony at JDRF’s OneConference in Washington, D.C.
“Cynthia has demonstrated years of tireless advocacy and commitment to JDRF, and her hard work and passionate character have helped to drive impactful progress for people with type 1 diabetes,” says Dick Allen, chair of JDRF’s International Board of Directors. “As a parent of a son with type 1 diabetes, Cynthia shares the same vision as I do for my granddaughter, of a world without this disease. With the outstanding contributions of JDRF volunteers and supporters like her, we are confident that vision will become a reality.”
Shortly after Albert was diagnosed with T1D in 1997, Mrs. Ford began volunteering her time to JDRF’s Government Relations Department (now Advocacy and Policy), calling representatives and advocating support of T1D research—a process she remains passionate about today. She and her family also became involved in local events through the JDRF Metro Detroit/Southeast Michigan Chapter, including Gala events and the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. Mrs. Ford’s impact on JDRF’s efforts grew steadily, and she has become a leading volunteer on both national and international levels. She has served on JDRF’s International Board of Directors and was chair of the JDRF 2009 Children’s Congress, chair of JDRF’s Annual Conference in 2012, and chair of the JDRF Government Relations Committee from 2011 to 2013. In addition to working with leadership in her local JDRF chapter, Mrs. Ford currently serves on JDRF’s Executive Committee and is a leading advocate on Capitol Hill for the renewal of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), which provides approximately one-third of all federal funding for T1D research.
Among Mrs. Ford’s many accomplishments, her insight and dedication recently guided JDRF through two successful advocacy campaigns: in 2011–12, to influence the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue regulatory guidance to enable researchers to continue important testing of artificial pancreas technologies; and in 2012–13, to persuade Congress to renew the SDP.
“It’s been a great honor to devote my energy to an organization whose mission I believe in, and whose efforts I champion,” says Mrs. Ford. “JDRF has provided support and hope to my family and to so many others who are impacted by type 1 diabetes. I’m thrilled to receive this award from people I have worked alongside and respect. We are on this journey toward eliminating this disease together, and this is for all of us.”
Mrs. Ford’s appreciation for teamwork is reflected in the fact that supporting JDRF is a family affair. In fact, Ford Motor Company—of which her husband, Edsel, serves on the board of directors—and its dedicated employees have raised more than $43 million for JDRF in the past 15 years.
The Chairman’s Choice Award is named after the late Jim Tyree, who passed away in March 2011. A longtime JDRF friend and leader who lived with T1D for 25 years, Mr. Tyree was a Life Member of JDRF’s Illinois Chapter Board of Directors and served as chair of JDRF’s International Board of Directors from 2006 to 2008.
“What has propelled JDRF forward for more than 40 years are the people who never quit, who never lose that ability to remain focused on why we do what we do, for the millions of people with type 1 diabetes,” says Jeffrey Brewer, president and CEO of JDRF. “Passionate leaders like Jim Tyree and Cynthia Ford have fueled this organization to keep working toward our goal of removing this disease altogether. It is a privilege to recognize Cynthia’s enormous contributions with this award.”
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.
As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries. In 2012 alone, JDRF provided more than $110 million to T1D research. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. In 2012 Forbes magazine named JDRF one of its five All-Star charities, citing the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.