JDRF Applauds Usher and NFL Star Noah Gray for Shining a Spotlight on Type 1 Diabetes at Super Bowl LVIII

Media Contact:  
Kenya Felton 


More than 1.4 million Americans live with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that impacts people of all ages. People with T1D are dependent on injected or pumped insulin to survive. 

NEW YORK, NY, February 12, 2024 – JDRF, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization, is recognizing Grammy award-winning megastar Usher and NFL Super Bowl Champion Noah Gray of the Kansas City Chiefs for shining a spotlight on T1D during Super Bowl LVIII.  

Usher’s now teenage son was diagnosed with T1D at just six years old. As Usher prepared for his highly anticipated Super Bowl Halftime Show and the release of his forthcoming album, he also prioritized raising awareness for T1D and the importance of screening. The music star spoke about his journey as the parent of a child with T1D and the need for greater knowledge and understanding about the disease in numerous media interviews in the run up to Super Bowl LVIII. 

“Usher’s advocacy has played a crucial role in raising awareness about type 1 diabetes and the importance of early detection through screening,” said Aaron Kowalski, CEO of JDRF. “Educating people about the symptoms of T1D and encouraging them to get screened can help reduce the risk of life-threatening complications and hospitalizations during diagnosis. Additionally, early detection gives families time to plan, prepare, and possibly benefit from a therapy that can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes. We cannot overstate the positive impact of Usher’s efforts.” 

Noah Gray, a standout tight end for the NFL Kansas City Chiefs, was diagnosed with T1D during his freshman year at Duke University. Determined to continue pursuing his dreams, Gray learned to manage his T1D and excelled academically and athletically. His hard work paid off when the Chiefs selected him in the 2021 NFL draft. Gray played a significant role in helping the team win the Super Bowl in 2023. Yesterday’s win against the San Francisco 49ers adds a second Super Bowl Championship to Gray’s resume. Gray is a shining example of how, with hard work and access to the tools that work best for them and their diabetes, individuals with T1D can train and compete in sports at every level. 

T1D is an autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.4 million Americans. The condition causes the pancreas to produce little or no insulin. People with T1D must carefully monitor their blood glucose levels and administer insulin to survive. T1D affects people at any age. There is currently no cure. 

Type 1 diabetes screening involves a blood test to check for specific autoantibodies that, if present, indicate that the body’s immune system is attacking the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Screening enables families to plan, prepare, and prevent severe complications like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hospitalization at the time of diagnosis. Early detection also opens the opportunity to receive a therapy to delay the onset of T1D or enroll in studies where other innovative therapeutic options may be available. 

T1Detect, JDRF’s education and awareness program for T1D risk screening, provides information on where to get screened and what to do after receiving the results. Visit JDRF.org/T1Detect to learn more. 


About JDRF 
JDRF’s mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.5 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 and globally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a global 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 five 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), Facebook (@myjdrf), and Instagram (@jdrfhq). 

About Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) 
T1D is an autoimmune condition that causes the pancreas to make very little insulin or none at all. This leads to dependence on insulin therapy and the risk of short or long-term complications, including highs and lows in blood sugar; damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and heart; and even death if left untreated. Globally, it impacts nearly 9 million people. Many believe T1D is only diagnosed in childhood and adolescence, but diagnosis in adulthood is common and accounts for nearly 50% of all T1D diagnoses. The onset of T1D has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. There is currently no cure for T1D.