For the first time ever, the JDRF Northern California Chapter’s spring social events — Tee to Table, Hope Gala & One Party — have come together as one to host the Virtual Tee to Gala. Weeklong festivities start on May 9th and will include a spectacular live and silent auction, Virtual World Golf Tour Tournament, and will culminate in the main livestream event on May 15th.
Each year, JDRF honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to our mission and the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community. The 2021 Virtual Tee to Gala is thrilled to honor the Urban family — Will, Jenny, Abby and Chase — for their decade of support.
The Urban family was introduced to JDRF in 2012 when Chase was diagnosed with T1D at the age of eight. Legend has it that Chase saw the JDRF One Walk featured on television the morning after he was diagnosed. He realized he wasn’t alone and that he wanted to join the fight against T1D. He vowed to participate in the Walk the following year.
In 2013, with Chase as Team Captain, the family rallied their community, and 66 friends & family members joined them to form Chase’s Champions. Year after year since, a swarm of family members, friends and schoolmates, wearing their signature t-shirts, can be seen walking the Great Meadow at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Chase’s Champions continues to be a top fundraising team, raising more than $250,000 to date.
In 2016, Chase received the Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award and in 2019 the Urban family was honored with the JDRF One Walk San Francisco Hall of Fame Award.
“I first got to know Chase and the Urban family, back in 2013, less than a year after his diagnoses. I remember having coffee with Chase and Jenny, and talking to them about their Walk team. I knew right at that first meeting that I was talking to some real champions, and that nothing would stop the Urbans from finding a cure for T1D!” – Kevin O’Scanlon, Development Director JDRF Northern California
After meeting others in our community with T1D and impressing everyone at our chapter, Chase was invited to speak at corporate events, inspiring business leaders to join the JDRF One Walk. He quickly became an admired public speaker, delivering Fund A Cure speeches at the JDRF Tee to Table and Summer Classic events. Since his diagnosis 6 years ago, Chase has given 19 speeches, motivating audiences around the Bay Area with his confidence, enthusiasm, and all-around good nature.
In 2017, Chase was selected to represent the state of California at the JDRF Children’s Congress in Washington, D.C. Gathering with 150 young delegates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia for three days, he participated in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Members of Congress understand what life with T1D is like and why it is so critical that the federal government continue funding the Special Diabetes Program.
Over the years, the entire Urban family has volunteered at JDRF events and with other diabetes organizations around the Bay Area. We caught up with them to ask a few questions about T1D and the JDRF community:
What would a cure mean to you?
Chase: A cure means peace of mind. I won’t have to worry about blood sugars and about others worrying about me. I’ll sleep soundly, without juice in the middle of the night and without anyone waking up to help me.
Abby: A cure means excitement and relief. I won’t have to worry about my brother’s diabetes anymore. I dislike all the extra stuff he has to do just to hang out with friends. I hate that he doesn’t feel good sometimes due to his diabetes. I look forward to relief for him.
Will: A cure would stop the constant worrying about my son. The discomfort of worrying about him having too high and too low of blood sugars and the complications and the inconveniences there are for Chase.
Jenny: A cure would mean incredible joy and a sigh of relief for us all. An end to the 24/7 worry of a parent of a child with T1D and back to just the regular parental worries, which are so much easier. I feel like Chase would get to fully live his life and just embrace being a kid. A cure would allow him to live his life with more ease.
What does JDRF mean to the Urban family?
Will: JDRF made it easier for us to deal with Chase’s diagnosis. We went to events and met lots of wonderful, understanding people. Chase got involved with JDRF, which was an incredible experience for him. It’s an exceptionally well run organization and it feels so good to know people are working on a cure.
Jenny: JDRF means HOPE. It’s a community of like-minded people and parents working for the same thing – a cure. The JDRF community means never having to explain anything about T1D because it is families with similar lives and similar worries. It’s a family of families struggling with the same thing. JDRF is an organization focused on making T1D families’ lives easier and our loved ones’ lives easier.
The Urbans spent nine years living in Half Moon Bay, CA and now reside in Seattle, WA. JDRF is pleased to honor this inspirational family at the 2021 Virtual Tee to Gala.
Thank you and congratulations!