JDRF Rocky Mountain: Our Holiday Letter to you

As 2018 comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment in holiday letter fashion to reflect upon a few of the incredible moments we’ve been able to celebrate together as the JDRF Rocky Mountain community in the past 12 months.   When you live, work, and breathe Type 1 diabetes, moments that deserve to be celebrated and reflected upon oftentimes fly past you in a whirlwind of progress and change. Taking time to remember moments that matter is important to remind us of how far we’ve come, how hard we’ve worked and where we’re headed.

As the Outreach Manager for JDRF Rocky Mountain, I have the unique vantage point to oversee and influence a wide range of activities that happen throughout the year from Government and Public relations, to Heath Care Provider partnerships, to building relationships with the incredible and vast community of T1D influencers and supporters in Colorado and Wyoming. I also have the immense privilege and obligation to help support newly diagnosed families and adults in those first months of learning to live with the new normal of T1D.

In 2018, JDRF Rocky Mountain supported more than 380 newly diagnosed children and adults with Bags of Hope, Outreach Volunteers and T1D Connections Resources.   Although we cry and grieve with these newly diagnosed parents and adults as they grasp the gravity of a new chronic diagnosis, I can also say with certainty that there is NO community I would be more proud and confident to welcome a family into than the JDRF Rocky Mountain Community.   Our volunteers and families create a support system that feels like an extended family. It is a close-knit tribe of people walking arm in arm towards the future or a world without Type 1 diabetes.   That confidence is what drives us to build the largest interconnected web of T1D support in the Rocky Mountains and what drives the JDRF Rocky Mountain Chapter to continue making progress in all areas like we saw in 2018.

2018 was full of wins and celebrations all across the world for type 1 diabetes research.   We are accelerating towards therapies and prevention treatments at light speed because of the advancements JDRF is able to bring forward with research funding.    The difference we make in our local chapters is what drives this progress forward.  We can’t thank you enough for your support and meaningful contributions to our local efforts.  It is because of you that JDRF Rocky Mountain can proudly say that we’ve contributed more than 2.2 Million dollars to the fight in 2018.

A look back on 2018:

Sarah Sallade, T1D Connections Volunteer Training

January 2018 launched our newly redesigned Outreach Volunteer T1D Connections Program with the first 11 volunteers trained on January 19th,.   Since then, we’ve trained 45 Outreach Volunteers across Colorado and Wyoming.   JDRF Outreach Volunteers are the first phone call or email a newly diagnosed family will receive from JDRF upon diagnosis. They are a reassuring voice to let you know you are never alone in this fight and everything will be ok. Newly diagnosed families were invited to learn new things at Type One Nation, get glammed up with us at Gala, and Walk towards a cure with us at JDRF One Walk. We look forward to growing this program even more in 2019!

February 2018 – 2018’s Type One Nation hosted our highest recorded attendance to date for our annual educational summit!   372 people attended Type One Nation to learn from experts like Gary Scheiner, CDE, Dr. Brigitte Frohnert, and Dr. Kimber Simmons about how to better manage Type One Diabetes at any age and stage.   Register for the 2019 Type One Nation Summit today!



Hannah Hoogenboom, Development Director

April, 2018 may have brought Spring Showers and snow storms to Colorado but it also brought to us our new Development Director, Hannah Hoogenboom! Hannah came to us from a sister organization, The American Diabetes Association. With such a bright, engaging personality, Hannah has brought such wonderful ideas, insight and laughter to the team.   As the Development Director, Hannah oversees the fundraising efforts of the chapter and executes our annual Dream Gala with the help of the rest of the Rocky Mountain staff.


Dr. Brigitte Frohnert at the 2018 JDRF Dream Gala

May, 2018 hosted the 19th Annual JDRF Rocky Mountain Dream Gala presented by Ball Corporation and Honoring Dan Fisher.   Gala Chair, Meredith Coors, pushed the gala to raise more than $750,000 in one night for T1D research in Denver! Save the Date for the 2019 Gala: April 13th at the Hyatt Regency Convention center honoring Dr. Peter and Linda Chase.





Team JDRF Rocky Mountain at the 2018 Loveland Ride to Cure Diabetes

August 2018 brought the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes back to Loveland, CO for the 2nd year in a row raising more than $450,000 for JDRF in that single Ride. In 2018, the JDRF Ride program raised over 9 Million for T1D Research! Team JDRF Rocky Mountain once again took home the coveted yellow ‘Top Recruiter’ jersey for recruiting 20 brand new riders to the program this year.   Learn more about the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes program and sign up today for one of 6 2019 Rides!




Kicking off the 2018 Denver One Walk



September and October 2018 – More than 8,000 people came together from across Colorado and Wyoming to participate in the 2018 Denver and Colorado Springs JDRF One Walks. Combined, these Walks are anticipated to raise over $780,000 for type one diabetes research!

Check out exciting event photos from both events:

JDRF Staff and Volunteers storm Times Square and Good Morning America to kick of National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 2018 National Diabetes Awareness Month lit cities around the world up in blue lights for another year. Locally, partners like The Pepsi Center, The Hyatt Regency Denver Convention Center and DaVita turned their blue lights on to support people living with Type 1 diabetes in the US. Hundreds of people in Colorado joined JDRF Rocky Mountain at Old Chicago’s Pizza locations for a giveback night hosted by the restaurant. T1D’s across the globe shared their T1D stories on social media using the hashtags #T1DlooksLikeMe, #ImtheType, and #Diabasics.

December 2018 – As December 31st draws near, JDRF Rocky Mountain Chapter is already busy planning well into 2019.   We will be out of the office from Monday, December 24th through January 1st to rest and recharge during this holiday season.   If you need immediate support or assistance during this time, please reach out via email at kraleigh@jdrf.org.


As the JDRF Rocky Mountain Chapter Staff, we are thankful each day to have the opportunity to dedicate our time and talents to the largest global organization funding Type 1 diabetes research. Moreso, we are grateful and fortunate to have the privilege of working alongside each of you as volunteers and members of this powerful, inspiring community.

We wish you the warmest and loveliest of Holiday seasons and look forward to driving progress forward with you in 2019.

Wishing you joy,

Hannah, Lisa, Laura, Kelli, Rachel and Dana

JDRF Rocky Mountain Staff Hannah Hoogenboom, Lisa Vandenberg, Laura Rosseisen, Kelli Raleigh, Rachel LeClere, Dana Slack