Cynthia and Edsel B. Ford II Generously Support Type 1 Diabetes Research Through a $1 Million Major Gift



DETROIT – (May 4, 2015) – The Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan Chapter of JDRF received a $1 million gift from Cynthia and Edsel B. Ford II, longtime leaders in the effort toward finding a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D). The Fords made this announcement to fellow supporters who attended the Promise Ball Gala on May 1 in Detroit. The event raised more than $2 million, making it one of the largest of its kind in the nation for JDRF.

The Fords became involved in JDRF when their son, Albert, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of four.

“With so much progress being made toward a cure, we believe now is the ideal time to make this commitment to help continue the research momentum,” said Cynthia Ford, a member of JDRF’s International Board of Directors. “JDRF funded researchers are closer than ever in history to finding the cure for T1D. This gift will help provide even more support so that JDRF can fund more leading edge projects that will ultimately get us to the end goal of eliminating type 1 diabetes forever. We are honored to be in a position to help make this work possible.”

“JDRF is so grateful to Cynthia and Edsel B. Ford II for their generous gift to further type 1 diabetes research. Their continued dedication and commitment to JDRF and the millions of people with T1D are without equal,” said Derek Rapp, JDRF President & CEO. “I admire Cynthia’s and Edsel’s determination to make life better for their son and for everyone facing the challenges of T1D, and I am extremely appreciative that they recognize the fantastic research progress that is being made through the leadership of JDRF. It takes a team to make headway in our quest to create a world without T1D, and Cynthia and Edsel are incredible members of JDRF’s team.”

During the evening’s festivities, Cynthia Ford received the Chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Fords, together, served as Chairs for the Gala, which celebrated its 30th Anniversary of uniting the Metro Detroit community in the fight against type 1 diabetes.

“Having served on JDRF’s International Board of Directors, I very much respect Cynthia’s talent and integrity,” said Rapp.  “She is very intelligent, an excellent communicator, and a highly effective leader, and she has earned the universal respect of her peers on the board.”

“The Fords exemplify how volunteer leaders here in Metro Detroit can bring the community together to make a difference, said Kate Durak, Executive Director of JDRF’s Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan Chapter. “They share our vision of a world without T1D and are motivating others to join them in this critically important effort. It was a truly inspiring evening, and we are grateful to the Fords for their incredible generosity, leadership and ongoing commitment to this cause that impacts so many right here in our own community.”

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, policy influence and a working plan to bring life-changing therapies from the lab to the community. As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF has invested nearly $2 billion in charitable research over the past 45 years. For more information, please visit