T1D through the years
The Disease

Life with T1D 100 Years Ago:
Very little is known about type 1 diabetes at this time. Sadly the “radical new method of treating diabetes” is a strict fasting and exercise regimen. Scientists had previously recommended “keeping as much fat on your bones as possible” and abstaining from alcohol.


Frederick Banting, M.D., develops the idea of purified insulin as a treatment for humans by studying diabetic dogs and their pancreases. In the first human test in 1922, a 14-year-old boy is saved with insulin injections after experiencing diabetic comas.1

When it came, it was like a miracle.2
Dr. Frederick Banting
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1923

Sir Harold Himsworth, M.D., discovers variability in the effect of insulin on people with diabetes. He distinguishes between those who are “insulin-sensitive” and “insulin-insensitive” — differentiating for the first time between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.3


Life with T1D 50 Years Ago:

  • A prototype insulin pump is so large it has to be worn like a backpack.
  • Insulin has not yet been genetically engineered and people living with T1D use insulin derived from animals that are unpredictable and hard to determine dosage.
  • Monitoring blood glucose at home is a complex process that requires testing urine in test tubes.4

The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, now JDRF, is founded by Lee Ducat, Carol and Erwin Lurie and fellow parents of children with T1D to raise money to fund research to cure T1D.


Life with T1D 35 Years Ago:

  • Insulin needles are used repeatedly and need to be sharpened for each use.
  • A synthetic human insulin has just hit the market and people are replacing their animal insulin with it.
  • There is a 50 percent risk of vision loss from diabetic eye disease.

Mary Tyler Moore is named JDRF International Chairman. She was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 33 and became a lifelong advocate for those living with T1D.

Both children and adults like me who live with type 1 diabetes need to be mathematicians, physicians, personal trainers and dietitians all rolled into one.
Mary Tyler Moore

JDRF formally launches its Walk, now called JDRF One Walk®, which brings together more than 900,000 people every year to walk for the cure. In 1998, JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes hits the streets and raises, in the years that follow, over $50 million for T1D research programs like prevention, beta cell replacement and diabetes-related complications.


Life with T1D 20 Years Ago:

  • Insulin research has led to more customizable treatment, with analogue insulin offering a more rapid option. Pens have become a more accurate and easier insulin delivery alternative to syringes.
  • Pumps are now used by about 50,000 people living with T1D, and many find it to be a reliable way to manage their blood-glucose levels.5

The first JDRF Children's Congress heads to Washington, D.C., to meet with the nation's top decision-makers to advocate for type 1 diabetes research funding.

Children's Congress and other JDRF advocacy efforts have resulted in Congressional funding of nearly $2.8 billion for T1D research through the Special Diabetes Program.6


JDRF launches the Artificial Pancreas Project. The project funds research all over the world, creates a roadmap for commercial development, works with the FDA to accelerate research and advocates for insurance companies to accelerate coverage.


The Network for Pancreas Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) launches to study the human pancreas in T1D and find a cure. Today, with significant support from JDRF, nPOD has nearly 250 ongoing studies.


Life with T1D 10 Years Ago:

  • Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) are now available for real-time monitoring at home, not just in the doctor's office. This changes the way people with T1D and their caregivers manage T1D by automatically checking blood-glucose levels.7
  • Pumps are much more widely used due to advances that made them smaller, more reliable and longer lasting.

Life with T1D today:

  • With artificial pancreas systems now on the market, the next question is coverage, affordability and choice. JDRF's Coverage2Control campaign has led to America's 25 largest health insurers offering coverage for the artificial pancreas system, and continues to push for lower insulin costs.
  • Dexcom and other software solutions offer the sharing of diabetes data, allowing parents and caregivers to wirelessly track blood glucose in real-time.8
  • Researchers have narrowed down the potential factors that may trigger T1D. With this research, childhood screening programs are now being evaluated in certain areas. These screenings are looking for diabetes-related autoantibodies that signal an increased risk of T1D—if two or more of these indicators are detected, there appears to be a nearly 100 percent chance that a person will develop T1D.9
  • Researchers are studying the prospect of replacing destroyed beta cells with encapsulated ones that can produce insulin. Due to the production of these implantable protected cells, the therapy is now in human clinical trials.10
your birthday


We're on a mission to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D) and we've made a lot of progress toward that goal. Scroll around to see how far we've come. You can help the progress continue. Help fund T1D research today