2021: A Year in Review

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During the holiday season we reflect on the success our donors, volunteers, and supporters made possible. Despite another challenging year, you still stepped up and helped us to advance JDRF’s mission. We would like to take this moment to say THANK YOU to our community of Movers, Shakers and T1D Changemakers, for all that you do to help us make progress possible for everyone living with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Our Chats from Home program—informal virtual gatherings for individuals and families in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont—launched in January. These meetings are organized by age level for parents and caregivers to connect with others in a similar stage. There is also a group for adults living with T1D! While some participants are only a few weeks in to their T1D journey, others have several decades of experience. We are grateful to all of our participants who have joined us so far for their willingness to share their stories and offer support to their community. From our earliest days, volunteers have been the engine driving JDRF and we thank our amazing group of volunteers who co-host these Chats, share their own experiences, and welcome others to the Greater New England Chapter!

Thank you to our volunteer sub-committee members for organizing informative sessions throughout the year for the school health team: Crista Bode, Shari Cashman, Kristine Cauti, Danielle King, Jaleen Siekman, and Cathy Walter. We encourage you to share our webinar recordings with school nurses in your community and other members of the school health team, including principals, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, and 504 coordinators.

Past Webinars:

Save the date for our upcoming webinars on “Supporting Children with Type 1 Diabetes, Learning Disabilities, and Psychosocial Challenges” (February 15, 2022) and “Current Trends in Diabetes Technology” (April 12, 2022). Learn more at bit.ly/JDRFSchoolHealthWebinars.

On April 24, JDRF held its spring national TypeOneNation Virtual Summit: Living Without Limits which offered inspirational and educational speakers, special celebrity guests, and the latest in T1D research. Our chapter closing program was hosted from the summit platform, enabling members of the JDRF Greater New England Chapter community to hear an overview of the chapter’s activities and meet others during our breakout room discussions. More than 20 of the summit sessions are available to view on demand at www.jdrf.org/community/virtual-resources/springvirtualsummit.

On Saturday, May 8, more than 500 guests joined us for the JDRF Greater New England—One Virtual Gala, raising more than $1.7 million for T1D research! This year, we were privileged to honor Ropes & Gray for their steadfast commitment to JDRF—thank you for allowing us the opportunity to recognize your tremendous support throughout the years! Once again led by our outstanding emcees and friends, Vanessa Welch and Mark Ockerbloom of Boston 25 News, the evening’s program highlighted inspiring stories from members of our T1D community across Maine, eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. If you missed the Gala livestream or you are like us and want to view the program over and over again, please visit bit.ly/JDRFGNEGalaWatch2021.

The evening would not have been possible without the astounding support of our JDRF community. We are so thankful for the generosity of our Signature Sponsor, Bain Capital Community Partnership, and to all of our incredible sponsors. We offer very special thanks to the amazing Gala Committee led by Procurement Chair, Dawn McGrew, and Gala leadership Jaleen Siekman, Cathy Walter, Jamie O’Riordan, and Sherri Panaro for your unwavering efforts to make the evening both successful and memorable; our Corporate Development Committee, led by Chair, Jon Freni, and to the Greater New England Community Board, led by President, Colin Motley and Vice President, Bob Durkee, for your dedication and leadership throughout the year. Many thanks to Brian Smith for always bringing your talent and passion to this event through your remarkable storytelling, and for truly going above and beyond to help us bring this year’s program to the virtual stage! To all of our featured T1D Champions–thank you for sharing your stories of inspiration and hope with our community!

In June, to celebrate Global Running Day, JDRF hosted the 365: No Days Off for T1D challenge.  When you live with T1D, there are no days off, and to recognize this, JDRF challenged participants and teams to take no days off from running, walking, or staying active every day from June 2-6. Thank you to teams Mitchell Madness, McClatchey Family and Friends, and Grady 365 who collectively raised $11,965 for JDRF.

On July 19, a record number of golfers took their shot at first place while raising an impressive $170,000 for critical T1D research at the 20th Annual JDRF Tee Up to Cure Diabetes Golf Classic. We are so grateful to all of our incredible sponsors, families, and friends of JDRF for their generosity and ongoing commitment to our mission! It was amazing to be back in person, and not even the rainy weather got in the way of having a memorable and successful day at Quidnessett Country Club! Players enjoyed on-course games, raffles, and the silent auction. The event featured an exciting Meet or Beat the Pro, Hole-in-One contest, and various treats from our generous Snack Hole Sponsors. JDRF would like to extend a special thanks to our emcee for the night, Nick Coit of ABC 6, Fund A Cure Speaker, Ava Librizzi, Tee Up to Cure Diabetes Committee Chair, Chris Librizzi, the Golf Committee, and our event volunteers—without them, this event would not have been possible!

JDRF’s first-ever TypeOneNation Virtual Summit: Viviendo sin Limites held on July 31 offered an opportunity to engage with the Spanish-speaking T1D community in a new way by delivering a curated experience entirely in Spanish. Through our JDRF-Beyond Type 1 Alliance, we were able to extend our reach beyond the US Spanish-speaking population and connect with T1D Spanish-speakers across the globe.

Fall was a busy season for our peer to peer participants! Starting with runners gathering for two very special events, the Ragnar Reach the Beach Relay and the 125th Boston Marathon.

On September 17 and 18, Team Agony of Duhfeet and Sistas with Blistas not only collectively ran more than 1,000 miles but also raised $108,000 for T1D research at the Ragnar Reach the Beach Relay!

For Team Agony of Duhfeet, running in the Ragnar Reach the Beach Relay is personal to team leaders Joe Wallace and Liz Chang. Their son John has T1D and was diagnosed eight years ago at the age of six. For the past eight years they have recruited co-workers, friends, family and even strangers to run with their teams in this annual event. Since 2014, Team Agony of Duhfeet team members have raised more than $888,000 for JDRF. Thank you to all Agony of Duhfeet team members for helping get us closer to the ultimate finish line—a world without type 1 diabetes.

Sistas with Blistas is a group of women, led by Kristen Valenti and Frances Gonsalves, and has been running Reach the Beach Relay for the past 10 years and began fundraising for JDRF in 2016. JDRF is near and dear to the group, because teammate Leann has two sons with T1D, one who was diagnosed at the age of 4 and one diagnosed at the age of 16. Over the past four years this group of energetic women have collectively raised more than $33,000 for JDRF!

The Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April, was postponed until October. It was a beautiful day to see the team racing through Wellesley. Thank you to the seven runners that made up our 2021 Boston Marathon® Team, raising nearly $210,000!

  1. Meredith Collins
  2. Gregory Fox
  3. Rebecca Helman
  4. Andrew Sugg
  5. Jennifer Tolland
  6. Neil Wallack
  7. John Wilcox

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.

Sunday, October 3 was the Greater New England Walk Your Way Day! From August through November, nearly 1,000 walkers registered, more than 5,000 miles logged, and more than $565,000 raised. Thank you to our Top Walk Teams from each of our Walk locations and the Top 5 Individual Walkers! (Note: totals pulled 11/29/21.)

Boston: 

  1. Newton Knocks Out T1D!!
  2. ANNA’S ALL-STARS
  3. Gracie’s Peeps
  4. Team Sudbury
  5. Team One with Type One
  6. Matthew’s Mission
  7. Team Ari
  8. Team Cotney
  9. Team Durnan
  10. FOUR OF A KIND FOR A CURE

Central Massachusetts:

  1. Team Jada
  2. Team Talia
  3. Jacob’s Jumping Frogs
  4. NZilla’s Diabetes Stompers
  5. Yaffe Family Team

Maine:

  1. Color Me Cured-Thomaston
  2. Easton’s Crew
  3. Kicking It With Kam
  4. Team Thibeault
  5. JD’s Journey

New Hampshire:

  1. Osborne Sullivan United
  2. Abigail’s Avengers
  3. Pumped up!
  4. Rick’s Walkers
  5. Team MaddieA

Rhode Island:

  1. Ben’s Brigade
  2. Mady’s mad-dogs
  3. Awesome Annie!
  4. Team Carson
  5. CAM’S CREW

Vermont:

  1. Hans’ Heros
  2. Team D for Diabetes
  3. Team Emily
  4. Team Rouleau
  5. Winstons Walk

Top 5 Individual Walkers:

  1. Louis Masiello | Boston
  2. Andree Perkins | Rhode Island
  3. Jess Lowry | Boston
  4. Lisa Dunne | Boston
  5. Kenneth Scully | New Hampshire

The JDRF Ride isn’t just about cycling—it’s a global community with an ongoing commitment to find a cure for T1D. This year, 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 November 18, riders came together for the JDRF Ride Global Celebration event. Riders from across the country 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 $4 million nationally! Locally we had 50 participants join the Greater New England Team raising $100,000. Thank you to our Top 10 Riders! (Note: totals pulled 11/24/21.)

  1. Adrian Gonzalez | Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure
  2. Brenda Morris | Team Jaden
  3. Micah Waldman
  4. Gregory Goulette
  5. Leslie Gonzalez | Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure
  6. Moira McCarthy Stanford
  7. Aaron Leff
  8. Virginia Hughes
  9. Amy Cook
  10. Fred Isbell

A special thank you to team Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure riders Adrian and Leslie Gonzalez!

National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM) kicked off with the fall national TypeOneNation Virtual Summit. This year it was held as a series of weeknight sessions on November 1, 3, and 4. Day 1 focused on Mission, Day 2 on Innovation, and Day 3 on Wellness, and each evening also featured Spanish language sessions. The summit content is available to view on demand through December 10 at https://jdrf.6connex.com/event/virtual/fall2021/login?lang=en_US&mcc=chapter.

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 Greater New England area who were lit blue: Memorial Bridge (Portsmouth, NH/Kittery, ME), Portland City Hall (Maine), Boylston Tower and Plaza, Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, Longfellow Bridge (Boston), Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge (Worcester, MA/Shrewsbury, MA), Fore River Bridge (Quincy, MA/Weymouth, MA), Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, MA), Sakonnet River Bridge (Tiverton, RI), and the Rhode Island State House! Special thanks to our local community for visiting the landmarks and sharing photos with our chapter!

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 requesting official proclamations from local governors for NDAM, to sharing your stories as our Cure Champions every month, to stewarding our corporate partners like Marshalls who has partnered with JDRF since 1994, to articulating the financial, medical and emotional costs of the disease with members of Congress to secure the insulin pricing in the Build Back Better Act. T1D Changemakers like you are a critical part of the strength of this community and help us make progress towards cures. We’re so grateful to have your incredibly generous support; we couldn’t do any of this without you.

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 2022.

From all of us at JDRF Greater New England, thank you for another 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, 2021 and sent to JDRF Greater New England, 60 Walnut Street, Suite 101B, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481.

The JDRF Greater New England office will be closed for Winter Break beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 23 and will reopen on Monday, January 3.