JDRF Announces 2015 National Volunteer Award Winner

Ellen Leake Recognized for Significant Contribution to JDRF

New York, NY, September 30, 2015 — JDRF presented its Jim Tyree Chairman’s Choice Award to volunteer and leader, Ellen Leake, for her outstanding contributions to JDRF on behalf of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). The annual award was presented at the JDRF International Board of Directors (IBOD) dinner held in New York, NY last night.

“Ellen is a true inspiration to JDRF and the type 1 diabetes community,” said John Brady, Chairman of the JDRF IBOD. “Ellen became involved with JDRF over 16 years ago shortly after one of her daughters was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. During that time she has not only made an enormous impact in her local community by co-founding the JDRF Mississippi Chapter, she has made a profound contribution at a national level as a member of the International Board of Directors and other key JDRF committees. Ellen touches all those around her with her generosity of spirit, dedication and amazing stamina – despite a busy schedule she will always devote her considerable talents to help if it will make a difference for people with type 1 diabetes. It is a privilege to honor her outstanding work with this award.”

Ellen was a member of the JDRF International Board from 2009 to 2014. During her Board tenure she led the Development Committee in 2013-14 and continues to serve as a Chancellor and as a member of the Research, Development and Executive Committees. Ellen participates on the JDRF Speakers Bureau and communicates JDRF’s work and research advances to the type 1 diabetes community. In addition to her JDRF volunteer roles, she is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute Health.

“Given the dedication and passion of the thousands of JDRF volunteers, I am honored to accept this award, named after Jim Tyree, a former Chairman of the International Board of Directors who had type 1 diabetes,” said Mrs. Leake. “My daughter has lived with type 1 diabetes since age 10. We all get used to a new normal after diagnosis, but the burden of this new life is what propels people like me to roll up our sleeves and try to make a difference. I want my daughter to know a life without T1D and I believe JDRF will be the catalyst that will deliver breakthrough therapies until a cure becomes reality. Although I greatly appreciate this award, my work is about a promise I made to my daughter when she gave herself the first shot of insulin. I said if she could do her part, I would do mine. And in this effort, I am like the many thousands of volunteers and supporters of JDRF.”

The Chairman’s Choice Award is named after the late Jim Tyree, who passed away in March 2011. A longtime JDRF friend and leader who lived with T1D for 25 years, Mr. Tyree was a Life Member of JDRF’s Illinois Chapter Board of Directors and served as chair of JDRF’s IBOD from 2006 to 2008.

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 nearly $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 in more than 100 locations 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.