JDRF Northern Florida Announces Darnell Smith, Market President of Florida Blue as 2022 JDRF One Walk Corporate Chair
JACKSONVILLE, FL, March 21, 2022 – JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, announces Darnell Smith, Market President, North Florida Region of Florida Blue as the 2022 JDRF One Walk®, Jacksonville Corporate Chair. Smith will partner with JDRF staff and volunteers in engaging our business community and the community at large in supporting this year’s Walk presented by Florida Blue.
Aiming to raise more than $300,000 to help fund critically needed T1D research, the event is expected to attract more than 2,000 walkers, including teams representing local businesses, families, schools and other organizations. The event is one of approximately 170 JDRF One Walks nationwide that bring together hundreds of thousands of people each year who share JDRF’s vision to create a world without T1D. This year’s Walk will return to in-person after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Taking place on Saturday, May 21st at UNF Hodges Stadium JDRF One Walk, Jacksonville will be a day of family-friendly fun, with post-walk eats provided by Firehouse Subs and Wawa.
“JDRF One Walk, Jacksonville is an opportunity for our community to join together to champion JDRF’s mission to fund critical research that can lead to scientific breakthroughs and ultimately a cure for type 1 diabetes,” said Brooks Biagini, Market Director. “We look forward to working with Darnell Smith, and are grateful to Florida Blue for their support of the type 1 diabetes community in Jacksonville.”
“It is a great honor to serve as the 2022 JDRF One Walk Corporate Chair,” said Darnell Smith, North Florida Market President for Florida Blue. “As a champion for this cause, I can add my efforts, along with those of Florida Blue to help eradicate type 1 diabetes from our community. I look forward to connecting with my friends, family and colleagues to support this event!“
JDRF One Walk is the largest and most powerful peer-to-peer fundraising program in the world for T1D. Since 1992, the event has raised more than $1 billion for T1D research. This funding has enabled research on how to prevent, delay and ultimately cure T1D. It has led to life-changing drugs, treatments and devices, many of which have already moved into clinical trials and real-world testing.
The corporate community is invited to join Darnell Smith, Brooks Biagini and others from the local JDRF community at a JDRF One Walk Kick-Off meeting which will be held at the Florida Blue Conference Center on Monday, April 11. To RSVP, please contact Brooks Biagini at BBiagini@JDRF.org or call (904) 386-2851.
Type 1 diabetes 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.
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes 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 $2.2 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.
About Florida Blue
Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, has been providing health insurance to residents of Florida for more than 75 years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than 5 million health care members across the state. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.