JDRF Partners with Insulet to Provide Type 1 Diabetes Representation in Animal Crossing™: New Horizons
Launching today, Omnipod Bay features JDRF booth, inclusive outfits, and fun diabetes-themed areas and activities
NEW YORK – February 17, 2022 – JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, has partnered with Insulet Corporation to bring diabetes representation to the popular Nintendo Switch™ game Animal Crossing™: New Horizons. Players can visit the diabetes-themed island, Omnipod Bay, by using dream code DA-9645-5879-6910 in the game.
Insulet invited JDRF to be one of four nonprofits featured on the island, which was created to be an inclusive, family-friendly destination where players can see their T1D experiences reflected in the game. Players can also download 15 in-game outfits that include insulin pumps and diabetes supply bags, to create characters that look like them.
“My brother and I both live with T1D, and we grew up playing video games. If we’d seen this type of diabetes representation in a game as kids, it would have meant so much,” says Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., CEO, JDRF International. “JDRF is proud to partner with Insulet for this unique experience, and we are excited for the diabetes community to explore Omnipod Bay.”
On Omnipod Bay, players can complete an obstacle maze to gain access to a secret lounge, walk the runway in their new diabetes-ready outfits, perform in a concert, snap selfies in locales sprinkled with diabetes in-jokes, and piece together a hidden code to win an in-game prize. JDRF and three other advocacy partners—Beyond Type 1, Children with Diabetes, and Kyler Cares Foundation—have booths on the island and custom shirts and hats available for download.
“Representation of people with diabetes is important to us, so we looked for an opportunity to make diabetes part of everyday culture,” said Lei Mercado, Chief Marketing Officer of Insulet Corporation. “We worked closely with the diabetes community, leading advocacy groups, and gamers to see how we could educate others. Our hope is that the Animal Crossing™ integration will help people with diabetes feel more included, connected, and seen in a fun and engaging way.”
Omnipod Bay will be revealed today in a livestream and fundraising event organized by JDRF Game2Give™, a program that mobilizes the video game community to raise money toward finding cures. Starting at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, five content creators who live with T1D will visit the island, compete in party games, and collect donations while streaming the experience to their respective Twitch channels. Tune in on JDRF’s Twitch channel or visit the Tiltify event page to contribute toward the $15,000 fundraising goal.
About Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) 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’s mission is to improve lives today and tomorrow by accelerating 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 JDRF Game2Give
Spearheaded by JDRF’s Northern California chapter, JDRF Game2Give is an initiative that harnesses the fundraising potential of the multibillion-dollar video game industry. JDRF Game2Give brings together all types of people with T1D who work and play with video games, mobilizing this community to raise money and awareness for diabetes research. JDRF Game2Give launched in 2019 and has raised nearly $2M to date. Visit jdrf.org/gaming to learn more or jdrf.org/stream to join our livestream fundraising team, or follow us on Twitter: @JDRFGame2Give