Looking Back at the Year 2020

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During the holiday season we reflect on the success our donors, volunteers, and supporters made possible. Despite a difficult year, many changes to our day-to-day lives, and reimagined events, you still helped us to advance JDRF’s mission and we can’t thank you enough. As we shared in earlier outreach, the New England and Northern New England Chapters merged in August in order to realign our Chapter footprint to support broader geographies more efficiently. As a result, our two Chapters officially joined as one called the Greater New England Chapter and now proudly serves Maine, eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

We would like to take this moment to say thank you to our supporters from all corners of our new Chapter for everything that has been accomplished this year.

Each year Team JDRF provides JDRF fundraisers entry into some of the most exciting challenge events. In January, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend not only kicked off our year of fundraising, but was also the only event to be held in-person this year. Race weekend lasted four magical days with a different race each day. Congratulations to the Northern New England Team for being the Top Chapter fundraising team at the event, raising $34,000! A huge thank you to Elia Marquis, Northern New England, and Danielle Shahied, New England, who were the top two overall fundraisers this year! A special thank you to the 14 runners from the Northern New England and New England Chapters who collectively raised more than $55,400 for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.

With the unfortunate decision to cancel our TypeOneNation Summit in March, and to maintain connections with the JDRF and T1D community, we launched our weekly Virtual Education Series in April. To date our webinars have reached more than 700 registrants and 450 attendees across Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as 36 other states, Puerto Rico, and the UK! We extend our thanks to all who joined us and to our speakers for their support, time, and commitment to patient education.

In May Boston held their first ever Virtual Auction and Fund A Cure event. While we were unable to be together in the ballroom, it is our hope that through our special videos and messaging, participants learned more about the incredible impact this community continues to make by supporting JDRF. We were thrilled to highlight Nancy Jones Diabetes Champion Award recipient, Dr. Kevan Herold, who has pioneered the development of the first drug to delay or prevent T1D. We are so thankful for the amazing generosity of our Signature Sponsor, Bain Capital Community Partners, and to all our incredible sponsors. We offer very special thanks to our 2020 One Night Gala Chair, Jaleen Siekman, Procurement Chair, Dawn McGrew, and the entire Gala Committee for their unwavering efforts that made the evening a success. Many thanks to the FY20 Corporate Development Committee, led by Chair, Colin Motley, and the New England Chapter Board of Directors, led by President, Liz Chang, for all their hard work and dedication throughout the year, and especially during these challenging times.

A few weeks later in June, Manchester hosted their Annual One Hope Gala virtually. Although not in studio, we were lucky to still have WMUR’s Erin Fehlau lend her emcee expertise to the evening. The night also featured videos from NH Governor Chris Sununu, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and JDRF board members and families from across the region. Congratulations to Harvard Pilgrim’s Bill Brewster for being the honoree. JDRF is very grateful for Bill’s many contributions to health care in the region and the work he does for the community. The Fund A Cure portion, highlighted many T1D stories from perspectives of a child, family, college student, and motherhood. Between both the Boston Gala and Manchester Gala, an incredible $1.9 million was raised for critical T1D research!

This year JDRF was proud to announce the launch of our official partnership with Ragnar. The national partnership grew out of the many successes seen at the local level, including here in Greater New England. In June, JDRF and Ragnar co-hosted the 200 for T1D relay. 14 teams from Greater New England joined the virtual race, raising just over $34,800! Thank you to our Top 3 Teams!

  1. Insulin It to Win It and MHS Cross Country
  2. Rhode Runners
  3. Liam’s Heroes

Also in June, the Dad’s 100 Mile Trek took place virtually. Teams and participants were invited to join a Zoom meeting and walk between one and five miles. Special thanks to John Lashar, Jon Freni, and the 19 teams and more than 300 trekkers who participated across many towns, states, and countries and logged more than 1,500 miles including a 2,990 foot, four-hour summit of Mount Shaw in New Hampshire! This volunteer organized event raised more than $365,000 to support JDRF’s mission.

In the early days of September, golfers were able to participate in the 19th Annual JDRF Tee Up to Cure Diabetes Golf Classic at the course of their choice. On Saturday, September 19 we held a live virtual program, where we heard inspiring messages from Chris Librizzi and many special members of our T1D community. The event was a huge success—raising more than $70,000. JDRF would like to extend a special thanks to Chris Librizzi and the entire Golf Committee, Nick Coit of ABC6, Ava Librizzi, Colin Motley, our incredible Youth Leaders, and Dr. Kevan Herold and his team—without them, this event would not have been possible!

September was a busy month for Team JDRF. Runners gathered (virtually) for two very special events, the 124th Boston Marathon and the Ragnar Reach the Beach Relay.

The Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April, was later postponed until September and held as a virtual event. Thank you to the seven runners that made up our 2020 Marathon Team and raised more than $164,000!

  1. Neil Wallack
  2. Chris Benjamin
  3. Gregory Fox
  4. Andrew Sugg
  5. Jennifer Tolland
  6. Julia Gregory
  7. Rebecca O’Dowd

A special thank you to our volunteer coaches, Mary Tolland and Neil Wallack. JDRF is proud to be an official Partner of John Hancock in the Marathon Non-Profit Program.

We would like to extend a very special thank you to Liz Chang and Team Agony of Duhfeet for participating in their seventh consecutive Ragnar Reach the Beach Relay with five teams and 60 runners who collectively ran more than 1,000 miles. This year, Team Agony of Duhfeet raised an impressive $111,200 for T1D research!

In October, JDRF launched the JDRF My Ride in place of the traditional Ride season. Riders set their own fundraising and cycling goals and participated however they were most comfortable—either indoors on a trainer, outdoors on their bike, with family members, or on their own. On the first weekend of October, riders came together for the JDRF My Ride Celebration event, presented by Livongo. Thousands of riders tuned in to share stories, recognize each other’s accomplishments and celebrate as one community. The celebration not only recognized individual participants with honor jerseys, but gave everyone a chance to celebrate raising more than $5 million nationally! Locally we had 77 participants join the Greater New England Team raising $140,000. Thank you to our Top 10 Riders! (Note: totals pulled 11/30/20.)

  1. Adrian Gonzalez | Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure
  2. Brenda Morris | Team Jaden
  3. Moira McCarthy Stanford
  4. Leslie Gonzalez | Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure
  5. Micah Waldman
  6. Virginia Hughes
  7. Jeff Mather
  8. Gregory Goulette
  9. Catherine Allan | Team Jaden
  10. Samuel Blank | Team Jaden

A special thank you to team Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure riders Adrian and Leslie Gonzalez and the nine members of the Team Jaden family ride team!

Sunday, November 1 (T1Day) not only kicked off National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM) but JDRF hosted their first ever National One Walk Day. From August to November, JDRF had more than 40,000 walkers from all over the country log thousands of miles and raise more than $19 million. Locally, we had more than 1,100 walkers registered, more than 10,000 miles logged, and more than $870,000 raised across our five sites. Thank you to our Top 10 Walk Teams from each of our Walk locations and the Top 5 Individual Walkers! (Note: totals pulled 11/30/20.)


  1. Newton Knocks Out T1D!!
  3. Gracie’s Peeps
  4. Team Vertex
  6. Matthew’s Mission
  7. Team Cotney
  8. Ryan’s Dream Team
  9. Natalie’s neighborhood
  10. Team Ella & Alexa 1D

Central Massachusetts:

  1. Team Jada
  2. Team Talia
  3. Jacob’s Jumping Frogs
  4. Scaf’s Team
  5. NZilla’s Diabetes Stompers
  6. Keiras Krew
  7. Emilee’s Entourage
  8. Cameron’s Minions
  9. Yaffe Family Team
  10. Team Jax


  1. Brady’s Bunch
  2. Color Me Cured-Thomaston
  3. Easton’s Crew
  4. Ben’s Bolus Bandits
  5. Bria Strong
  6. Diabetic Duo
  7. Nolan’s #DiaBadAss Crusaders
  8. Kicking It With Kam
  9. Sugar Crashers
  10. Mcgowan Family

New Hampshire:

  1. WaveForm Diabetes
  2. Andrew’s Carb-urators
  3. Osborne Sullivan United
  4. Abigail’s Avengers
  5. Pumped up!
  6. Jackson McDonald’s Warriors
  7. Madeline’s Ohana
  8. Team Ashooh
  9. Kendal’s Juice Box Heroes
  10. Team Ayou

Rhode Island:

  1. Awesome Annie!
  2. Mady’s mad-dogs
  3. Ben’s Brigade
  4. Team Carson
  5. Team Super Jack
  6. Team Lily B
  7. Ethan’s Adventure
  8. DiaBeats by Dre
  9. Kate’s Cure Crew
  10. Cam’s Crew

Top 5 Individual Walkers:

  1. Louis Masiello | Boston
  2. Phyllis Kaplan | Boston
  3. Katy Durand | Boston
  4. Andree Perkins | Rhode Island
  5. Lauren Turbush | Boston

On World Diabetes Day, November 14, communities across the globe illuminated major landmarks in blue to raise awareness for type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Thank you to all of the local landmarks across the New England area who were lit blue: Memorial Bridge, Portland City Hall, Prudential Center, Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, SNHU Arena, and the Rhode Island State House! Special thanks to our local community for visiting the landmarks and sharing photos with our Chapter!

On this special day, to signify the unity of the diabetes community, JDRF held a 24-Hour Global Challenge where participants were challenged to circle the globe by either walking, running, or riding. The challenge was to see if we could circle the world with our collective miles and how much we could collectively raise to drive us towards our ultimate finish line: a world without T1D. Thank you to our local participants who were able to contribute over 300 miles and more than $5,000 to the national challenge.

Lastly, thank you to all of our volunteers for their countless contributions over the year. From connecting with newly diagnosed families seeking a mentor, to stewarding our corporate partners like Marshalls who has partnered with JDRF since 1994, to attending virtual meetings and sharing personal connections to T1D, and articulating the financial, medical and emotional costs of the disease with members of Congress during 2020 Promise to Remember Me Campaign, you truly showed the Power of Us and continued to push our mission forward no matter what.

Sending all good wishes for a healthy, safe, and joyous holiday season for you and your loved ones. We are grateful for your ongoing and loyal support during a year of so much uncertainty, and we look forward to brighter days ahead in 2021.

From all of us at JDRF Greater New England, thank you for an unforgettable, reimagined year!

P.S. If JDRF is part of your year-end giving plans, gifts can be made online at jdrf.org/donate or postmarked by December 31, 2020 and sent to JDRF Greater New England, 60 Walnut Street, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481.

The JDRF Greater New England office will be closed for Winter Break beginning Thursday, December 24 and will reopen on Monday, January 4.