To help our community stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic, JDRF will be reimagining events through 6/30/20 rather than hosting in person gatherings – details to follow.

35th Annual Detroit Promise Ball

April 24, 2020, Detroit, MI
6:30 pm

Honoring Dr. Thomas Gardner & the JDRF Funded Research Team University of Michigan
Presented by Ford Motor Company

JDRF Friends and Families: In an abundance of caution for the well-being of our JDRF community, we are postponing the JDRF Gala to a time when concerns over the coronavirus should have subsided. We will be in touch soon with details about our new date. This decision wasn’t made lightly, and we want you to know that it was made over the last few days with several conversations and in support of volunteer leadership at both local and national levels. We will be announcing a new date in the coming days – we are not canceling this event, just looking to the future for a new date. We are intensely sensitive to the global coronavirus pandemic with an eye on how we can best ensure the well-being of our staff and community. For additional information on the coronavirus and T1D best health tips, visit our page at: Thank you for your ongoing friendship. Your support is improving and saving lives and getting us closer to curing this disease.

Event Details

Ways to Give

Fund A Cure

Fund A Cure immediately follows the Live Auction portion of the evening. Fund A Cure is an opportunity to make an impact on the lives of people living with T1D and their loved ones through a 100% tax-deductible donation, which will accelerate life-changing research. Fund A Cure donations will be invested in JDRF’s effective and focused research agenda aimed to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until there is a cure.





Jane Jospey Cobb Promise Award 

2020 Recipients: Dr. Thomas Gardner & the JDRF Funded Research Team University of Michigan

This award is in memory of Jane L. Jospey Cobb, a founding member of the JDRF-Metro Detroit & S.E. MI Chapter who, through her outstanding service, enabled the chapter to raise millions of dollars for diabetes research.  She is remembered as a courageous woman whose remarkable dedication, passion for research and indomitable spirit continue to be an inspiration to all.

Jane was one of the founding members and past board president of the Metro Detroit Chapter.  Jane died in 1997 at the age of 53 from diabetes complications.  Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of 20 months, she lost her sight at age 23.  Jane has two daughters, Allison and Annie and was married to Robert Cobb.

Jane was a graduate of the University of Michigan.    She was a dynamic individual with a terrific memory, mathematically inclined and always ready to learn something new.  She enjoyed all the gadgets that have been developed to assist the blind in their daily living.

She opened a boutique in the Somerset Mall specializing in travel items.  Later she operated a specialty upscale gift basket store in the Prudential Town Center.  In her late forties, Jane became a student in Detroit Receiving Hospital’s Visually Handicapped Services Program.  She was anticipating going back to school to earn a Master’s degree in English and Psychology and wanted to be up-to-date on the latest technology available to assist the blind.  Jane died before she could realize these goals.

The award is presented to individuals and/or corporations who have distinguished themselves in advancing the mission of JDRF through their support of research and education about research.

  • 2019: Ambassador Ron and Mrs. Eileen Weiser

    2018: Bill & Vivienne Young

    2017: Pat & Carolyn McNamara

    2016: Grant & Susan Beard

    2015: N/A (Lifetime Award given to Cynthia Ford)

    2014: Marvin & Lauren Daitch

    2013: Thomas Sr. & Jackie McInerney

    2012: Ron & Carol Dooley

    2011: Tim & Jean Jennings

    2010: Mrs. Rita C. Haddow

    2009 : Mr. Martin Shoushanian

    2008: Cynthia & Edsel B. Ford II

    2007: Mr. Jim Queen

    2006: David and Jennifer Fischer

    2005: Mr. Jack Haire

    2004: Mr. James A. Hiller

    2003: Heart of Gold – Marilyn Berman

    2002: Heart of Gold – Estelle & Philip Elkus

    2001: Heart of Gold – Betty Collens

    2000: Heart of Gold – Helen & Norman Wachler

Inspirational Ambassador

I was diagnosed days after Thanksgiving during my first year of graduate school for public health. Looking back, the number of empty water bottles in my parents’ home was astounding. It was a bit of a shock, especially being 25 and still thinking of type 1 diabetes as “juvenile”. Studying international health, I knew travel would be in my future, and thinking of it now, I never once stopped to think that T1D could impact my work and studies. It never occurred to me, it simply never crossed my mind that day in the ER or in the following weeks and months. I’m thankful the thought of traveling with diabetes didn’t come up.

I work for Johns Hopkins University as a researcher, in global health, and specifically focus on HIV in Southern Africa and access to care. My work takes me most frequently to Malawi, but also to Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana.

I believe all those things that make T1D a challenging and infuriatingly frustrating balancing act are actually the reasons why I am so grateful. What I better understand each day is just how lucky I truly am. I get to travel to various resource-limited countries for work, and I absolutely love it. When I do travel, yes, it is more challenging to plan for and manage diabetes – from tracking carbs in unknown and unlabeled, trying to find a working refrigerator to keep my insulin, to being frisked at the store because my pump looks suspicious. I travel with back up insulin pens, in case of pump failure. And I always make sure to search for a local private hospital within a reasonable distance.

JDRF is at the forefront of T1D research in the US, which means newer devices and smarter technologies for me to play with. But more importantly, research and technological advances here are huge steps towards facilitating access to and improving care around the world. And that, at least to me, is the really cool part.


Ford Field

2000 Brush Street
Detroit, MI 48226

Event Contact

Jessie Jimenez-Schlicht
248-936-1281 |

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