Be a type 1 diabetes champion.

We’re celebrating type 1 diabetes (T1D) champions all day, every day.

Share this video with other Champions:

Every day, JDRF is fighting to improve the lives of people living with T1D.

Be a T1D Champion and help us make a difference, today.

Meet just a few of our #T1DChampions

Stories From Our Community

Lawrence Summey IV

Lawrence is 12 and wants to be a computer software engineer someday. He was diagnosed when he was 10 and had to learn so much in a short period of time, like remembering to check his blood sugar, take insulin shots when needed, count carbs and learn to identify the signs of highs and lows.  He’s still a little overwhelmed, and naturally so. This is a disease with no off button. Lawrence is a T1D Champion, because he does not let type 1 diabetes stop him from enjoying the things he likes to do. He says, “I can still be that aggressive guard on the basketball court or the boy who hits hard and catches the fly balls on the baseball field or the track and field person who is going to run the race to the end. I am learning how to live with T1D despite many days I might be high or low. Diabetes can’t and will not stop me in anything that I am trying to accomplish. 
Lawrence Summey IV

Ruby Anderson

Ruby attended JDRF's 2019 Children’s Congress after years of advocating locally for the type 1 diabetes community. The goal of Children’s Congress is to allow youngsters with T1D, from all 50 states and our affiliate countries, to meet face-to-face with members of the U.S. Congress and other national leaders. Together, they advocate to secure continued government funding of research through the Special Diabetes Program, while raising awareness of the daily burden faced by Americans living with this serious autoimmune disease.  Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just 23 months old, Ruby has been meeting with her local members of Congress since she could talk, using her voice to tell them about how important T1D research is to her. Ruby raises awareness every year at school by getting her classmates to “Wear Blue for Roo!” on World Diabetes Day, November 14th. Ruby is a T1D Champion because, as she says, “I want to be a part of Children’s Congress to help everyone with diabetes!” 
Ruby Anderson

Sahil Mehta

Sahil has been living with type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years, not letting it stop him from doing anything he wants. He has an engineering degree and is also an active dancer and DJ. He tells us, "type 1 diabetes affects all facets of your life, and not everything can be seen or sensed by someone who is not experiencing the highs and lows. Not all days are the same and some days are tougher than others, but you push through and take it one day at a time." Living with T1D has made Sahil stronger and in better control of his health. Sahil is a T1D Champion because he spreads awareness about T1D in his community, advocates to cure T1D and to make insulin affordable to all.  
Sahil Mehta

Meghan Higgins

Meghan is a T1D champion because she knows that this disease will not stop her from living the life she imagines for herself. This past summer she was accepted into a program called Bike & Build. The program engages young adults in service-oriented cycle trips to raise money and awareness for affordable housing. She and her team biked from New Hampshire to Washington state in two and a half months, averaging around seventy miles per day. The physical and mental challenge of biking across the country seemed daunting enough. On top of it, add T1D to the mix!   Meghan says, “what made me feel like a T1D champion was listening to my body when it was telling me to stop. It was understanding that in order to live a healthy life with T1D, you have to work with it, not against it.  
Meghan Higgins

Cade Bedell

Cade was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 14. Two years after he was diagnosed, he learned about a clinical trial that needed a long term time commitment of two years to test the effect of two drugs that could potentially preserve beta cell function in the pancreas (which is vital to insulin production) by killing off T cells and promoting new cell growth. These trials are groundbreaking and could change the way we approach T1D in the future, but two years can feel like a long time to commit to a trial. Cade is T1D champion because of his willingness to participate and the desire to contribute to impactful research. He didn’t get a choice when it came to being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, but his choice to participate in a long term trial could make a life-changing difference for others. 
Cade Bedell

Arielle Cilaire

Like any expectant first-time parent, Arielle knew she'd be anxious about the health of her child. But as a young woman with type 1 diabetes, she was also worried about keeping her blood sugar in a healthy range. Out of range blood sugar levels can affect the health of an unborn child and changing hormones makes those levels significantly harder to control. Adding pregnancy to Arielle's type 1 diabetes routine was tough for her at first; she didn’t think she could possibly stay within her personal blood sugar target range. It was a challenge, but she sought answers and stayed informed, which makes Arielle a T1D ChampionShe says, I often take my small wins for granted especially as a T1D but keeping my blood sugars in range for the baby and my own health – this is a win! 
Arielle Cilaire

Celebrate your #T1DChampion!

Who's the #T1DChampion in your life? Share with our T1D Champions. All Day. Every Day. photo filter and the #T1DChampion hashtag on social media.

Learn the #Diabasics

1.25 million Americans live with T1D; 5 million are expected to have it by 2050. Learn more about T1D with the #DiaBasics

What makes someone a T1D Champion?

Learn the #DiaBasics

Learn the #DiaBasics

What makes someone a T1D Champion?

Managing type 1 diabetes takes the diligence, discipline, and resilience of a champion.

Once an individual is diagnosed with T1D, they and their support team are on the job 24/7 until we find a cure. With T1D, there are no off days and zero vacation time.

So who’s a T1D Champion? There are so many amazing examples; here’s just a few:

  • The newly diagnosed with T1D teenager who found the courage to ask their coach and teammates for help when dealing with low blood sugars at soccer practice.
  • The parent of a young adult who has had T1D for twenty years, who just spent several hours on the phone figuring out a health insurance transition.
  • The teacher of a 1st grader with T1D who hosted a “what is type 1 diabetes?” event to help make the child’s life safer and easier at school.
  • The adult who has been living with T1D for 38 years and, even though they’ve worked with their doctor to get the best tools to manage their health, a complication has arisen, which they’re navigating with grit and resilience.
  • The friend who signed up and hit their goal of $100 raised for their T1D friend’s One Walk team to show their support.
  • The young adult with T1D who has been up with high blood sugar levels all night but still knocked a presentation out of the park at work.
  • The partner of a person with T1D who took it upon themselves to learn not only about life with T1D, but about their partner’s specific signs of low blood sugars, what food helps manage blood sugar levels, and what emotional support is helpful to them on a tough T1D day.
  • The new mom navigating her own T1D while trying to balance taking care of a newborn, not getting enough sleep, and keeping herself and her baby healthy.
  • The sibling of someone living with T1D who chose a career in healthcare because they saw firsthand how health affects not just an individual, but a whole family.

Who in your life is a T1D Champion? Help us celebrate them all day, every day by sharing your story on social media with the hashtag #T1DChampion

What happens in the body of a person with type 1 diabetes?

Learn the #DiaBasics

Learn the #DiaBasics

What happens in the body of a person with type 1 diabetes?

When a person has type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks its own insulin-producing beta cells. Without these beta cells, people with T1D cannot produce their own insulin (the hormone that allows the body to convert the food we eat into energy). 

Without insulin, the body resorts to breaking down bodily tissue such as muscle and fat stores for energy, leading to significant health problems and eventually death.

Luckily, almost 100 years ago insulin was isolated as a treatment for T1D and continued advancements in care can keep a person with T1D healthy!   

I've heard about insulin prices being high. Why does this matter?

Learn the #DiaBasics

Learn the #DiaBasics

I've heard about insulin prices being high. Why does this matter?

Without access to insulin, being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is fatal. The body needs insulin to survive, and every person living with T1D has a different set of needs when it comes to the type and amount of insulin their body requires.

You cannot just stop taking insulin or give your body less than it requires, even if you can’t afford it. Considering the life-sustaining nature of this drug, insulin should be affordable and accessible to all those who need it.

However, federal data and multiple studies show that the cost of insulin has tripled, even quadrupled, in recent years. As critical as insulin is, it should be available at a reasonable, predictable out-of-pocket cost. 

JDRF continues to work closely with lawmakers, insurance companies, pharmacy benefit managers, and drug manufacturers to increase affordable access to insulin.

Why is blood sugar monitoring so important in managing T1D?

Learn the #DiaBasics

Learn the #DiaBasics

Why is blood sugar monitoring so important in managing T1D?

Knowing your blood-sugar levels and acting accordingly are among the most important ways to treat T1D. Monitoring lets a person know when insulin may be needed to correct high blood sugar or when carbohydrates may be needed to correct low blood sugar. Monitoring blood sugar can be done using traditional blood-sugar meters or continuous glucose monitors (CGMs).

What is the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) and why is it so important?

Learn the #DiaBasics

Learn the #DiaBasics

What is the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) and why is it so important?

The Special Diabetes Program (SDP) is a critical government program that provides $150 million in annual funding for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the country’s premier medical research agency. 

SDP’s multiple-year funding is essential to continuing large-scale trials, proactively planning next steps for research programs and allocating research dollars most effectively. 

What is #Coverage2Control and why is it needed?

Learn the #DiaBasics

Learn the #DiaBasics

What is #Coverage2Control and why is it needed?

Through the #Coverage2Control initiative,  JDRF is calling on insurers, employers, drug companies and the government to provide 3 things that will help people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) control the disease.

Affordability: Make out-of-pocket insulin and other costs predictable and reasonable.

Choice: Give people the freedom to choose the insulin pump that’s right for them

Coverage: Cover all life-saving technology, including the artificial pancreas.

With type 1 diabetes, the numbers add up

Derek Theler Actor, #T1DChampion
  • 0
    Footprint Calendar Icon
    Days living with T1D
  • 0
    Footprint Clock Icon
    Hours sleep lost
  • 0
    Footprint Finger Prick Icon
    Finger pricks
  • 0
    Footprint Syringe Icon
    Insulin needle injections

How much space does T1D take in your life?