NDAM 2020

Celebrating the Power of Us

The Power of Us: 50 Years and Counting

JDRF was founded in 1970 by two moms determined to help not just their children, but everyone with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Our community grew to include scientists, lobbyists, celebrities and children collecting coins at school – all determined to improve lives and find cures. Bound by a will stronger than the disease, this year during National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM) we will take a look at the power of our community and remind each other of how far we’ve come in the fight to cure T1D.


Share why you are the Power of Us

Abigail Anderson

Abigail Anderson does not live with type 1 diabetes (T1D), but her brother does, and she works to do all she can to raise awareness and show her support. She says she is so impressed with the T1D community, not only because it’s given her brother a group of people who offer unlimited support, but because of the way they are determined in their fight for a world without T1D. “As someone with a future in the medical field and who is so closely related to someone with T1D, I am so glad to have the opportunity to support the T1D community in any way possible, and do my own part in fighting for a future without T1D!”

Abigail Anderson

Dr. LaShelle Barmore

As a health care provider, Dr. LaShelle Barmore of Birmingham, Alabama, has been on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic. Has her T1D stopped her from being there for her patients or family? Not a chance. “Just the pressure of trying to be the mom that does it all was very overwhelming, but I realized that it was similar to when someone is first diagnosed with T1D—that’s also a ridiculously overwhelming situation. And I think that we have a lot more reserve than we realize. We know how to organize things, we know how to create a schedule, how to make it work, and that’s what I’ve had to lean on.” Still, LaShelle sees that the Power of Us comes through even in the most challenging times, including the pandemic. “I think that this whole event has made us all realize that regardless of what you do, everybody’s human. As much as my patients see me as their doctor—their professional healthcare provider—my first job is to be a mom. And my patients saw the reality of that.”

Dr. LaShelle Barmore

Samantha E.

At the age of 11 years old I was hospitalized and given my diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, a disease that will stay with me my whole life unless we find a cure. JDRF plays a vital part in trying to find a cure while also offering support to people living with type 1 diabetes. As a person with type 1 diabetes, I’ve had to be a lot more careful than the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a 20 year old I would normally be put into the category “low risk” category but because of type 1 I am now “high risk”. This means I’ve had to take even more precautions. My family also has to take these extra precautions to ensure my safety. Having type 1 diabetes is already a burden enough but now adding to that the constant fear of getting this virus because my type 1 would make fighting the virus even harder has made this time even more difficult.

Samantha E. San Diego, CA

Jamie Chilson

Jamie Chilson of Prior Lake, Minnesota, is a 5th grade teacher and a living testament to the Power of Us. She encourages her students to dream about—and do—big things. “I have never let T1D get in my way or stop me from doing anything. I have lived with this disease for the last 18 years and one of my big things that I share with my students is that they should not let anything hold you back.” Naturally, Jamie was concerned about what the start of the school year would hold during the coronavirus pandemic, but she approached it with her signature can-do spirit. “For my fellow T1D warriors and parents out there, know that teachers will do anything to protect their students! Communicate with those teachers and educate them on the needs of your warriors. Teach your children to stand up for themselves and advocate for their needs, whatever those maybe. It really is a great life skill to have!”

Jamie Chilson

Derek Rodriguez

Derek Rodriguez has lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) since April 2020, but was not a stranger to what life with T1D was like because both his mother and grandmother have lived with T1D since before he was born. Derek says that he’s grateful that while he’s learned to ride the “bike” that is life with T1D, he’s had a set of “training wheels” (his mom). Derek is passionate about wrestling, and refuses to let T1D stand in the way of his dream of wrestling for Penn State one day. “When I wrestle, my diabetes is just another badge that I can wear proudly every time I beat an opponent!”

Derek Rodriguez

Soukaina Saboula

Soukaina Saboula has lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for almost 15 years after being diagnosed at the age of 5. Soukaina says that life with T1D has forced her to grow, face various challenges, and make countless decisions, both small and large, while also teaching her self-discipline on a whole new scale. Soukaina is most grateful for the T1D community and the support that is readily available to her, and the support that she is able to give as well. She’s also passionate about raising awareness amongst family, friends, and peers who might not be aware of what life with T1D is like, saying “It is also important that our loved ones and those around us understand what we are going through, because, at times, it is their support that we need the most. So here I am, trying my best to raise and spread awareness about T1D.”

Soukaina Saboula

Show the world that you are the #PowerofUs.

Share with our Power of Us photo filter and #PowerofUs hashtag on social media.


Celebrate NDAM all November long!

  • T1Day

    November 1st is T1Day! Show us your #T1Day spirit by wearing blue and downloading the following social media graphic to encourage everyone in your community to wear blue in honor of T1Day and the start of National Diabetes Awareness Month.

  • World Diabetes Day

    November 14th is World Diabetes Day! This year’s theme is the Nurse and Diabetes which spotlights the important role nurses play in diabetes care and management. Download the following social media graphic and share a story of a nurse or school nurse who has made a difference in your life or your loved one’s life.

  • Giving Tuesday

    Download the following social media graphic and encourage your community to make a gift to JDRF during this annual day of giving to advance our mission of a world without T1D.

Path to a Cure: An Interactive Timeline

Explore key events and achievements in the last 50 years of JDRF history with commentary, images and links to further information.


Are you new to our community and to T1D?

Have you been living with T1D for years but aren’t quite sure how to talk about it with friends, coworkers and loved ones?

Check out our resources for how to get the conversation started here.

NDAM articles

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Thank you to our Power of Us partners:

Check out how JDRF celebrated NDAM in the past!