$1.3 M Gift to JDRF Center of Excellence at University of Michigan from Ron and Marvel Jones, Carrie Jones-Barber, and Christopher Lee Jones in Memory of Connie Jones Forcier for Type 1 Diabetes Research

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Jones Family

DETROIT, MI, May 10, 2022 — More than 400 people gathered at Detroit’s Ford Field to participate in the JDRF Promise Ball on Friday, May 6. The 37th annual gala centered on one question, “What If?” and reflected on advances made possible by donor-funded research and the progress toward a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D).  

In addition to the funds raised at the event, organizers were thrilled to announce a $1.3 million leadership gift from the Jones family—Ron and Marvel Jones, Carrie Jones-Barber, and Christopher Lee Jones—in memory of their daughter and sister Connie Jones Forcier, who lived with type 1 diabetes and died from complications of the disease thirty years ago. “Over the years we have supported JDRF in many ways,” said Carrie Jones-Barber, “and we see all the amazing progress being made and we felt it was our time to provide funding to help assist the scientists and all the great teams that are working together to defeat Type 1 worldwide.” 

This extraordinary gift has been designated to the JDRF Center of Excellence at the University of Michigan, established in 2019 to expand the University’s already stellar Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute and tackle some of the most critical challenges in diabetes research. The goal: To yield safer day-to-day management and improved health for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) by developing a comprehensive understanding of T1D metabolism. 

Ron Jones reflected on the family’s decision to make this gift: “My wife, Marvel, my daughter Carrie, and my son Chris and I learned about the marvelous progress being made because of JDRF and also through the Centers of Excellence throughout the world and here in our own backyard. What we learned made us want to do anything and everything possible to help in any way we could to assist in finding a way to prevent type 1 and to help find a cure.” 

The Joneses are hopeful that others will be inspired to join them in support of JDRF’s mission and accelerate advancements to prevent, treat, and cure type 1 diabetes. 

“We are grateful for the incredible support of the Jones family,” said Nikki Borges, Executive Director of the JDRF  Michigan and Northern Ohio Chapter. “Their generous gift will lead to better lives for the 1.25 million Americans with type 1 diabetes, and will help us realize our vision of a world without T1D.”  

Jones Family

About T1D
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it. 

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF