CHICAGO, Dec. 12, 2022 – The JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala–one of Chicago’s top annual philanthropic events–surpassed last year’s record-breaking evening of fundraising. Saturday night, JDRF Illinois raised more than $16 Million that will fund life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications. This year’s One Dream Gala, chaired by Anne and Robert Pillion, topped the record $15.1 million JDRF Illinois raised during the 2021 event, making it the single largest fundraising event in JDRF’s history.
The One Dream Gala, held at McCormick Place, brought together more than 1,500 guests and volunteers for an evening of auction, dinner, and inspirational stories from the diabetes community including this year’s Fund A Cure family, Nicole and David Kaplan with their son, Rex. Hosted by Judy Hsu of ABC7 Chicago, the program was followed by a robust concert from one of the world’s most iconic performers, Cyndi Lauper. Watch the Kaplans Fund A Cure video below.
Dr. Aaron Kowalski, JDRF CEO, spoke to the importance of this record-breaking fundraising event and what the dollars raised will help accomplish. “As someone who knows firsthand the burdens that living with this disease carries, I often refer to myself as an impatient patient – I want a cure just as quickly as you do. It’s sometimes difficult to see and feel the progress that we’re making but … I can assure you that things are moving at a pace, unlike anything I have seen in my 18 years spent in the field.”
Glen Tullman, CEO of Transcarent, returned as the One Dream Gala’s fundraising chair and encouraged the entire Chicago community to care about this cause, with a unique passion in insulin affordability. During his remarks Saturday night, he said, “In just over a year, the price of insulin will drop to $25, and access will increase, changing, extending, and improving the lives of many people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in this country.”
The proceeds raised at the JDRF One Dream Gala will help fund life-saving diabetes research – which is currently making significant progress. In the last year, JDRF has been driving new developments including the recent approval of the first drug to delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, Tzield. JDRF also works diligently to find solutions to support improved technology that makes living with this lifelong disease more manageable, such as the recent approval of the Dexcom G7. Learn more about JDRF’s work at jdrf.org.
JDRF Illinois gratefully acknowledges local corporate partners: Abbott, ABC7 Chicago, Aldridge Electric, Allscripts, ArentFox Schiff LLP, CIBC, The Ford Motor Company, Kemper, Land O’Frost, Medtronic, Molex, Transcarent, and Uptake.