It is with heavy hearts that we honor the passing of Chara Schreyer, an extraordinary woman who was a dear friend to JDRF and a true T1D Champion. Chara passed away in February of this year, leaving behind a legacy of generosity, passion, and unwavering commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. Chara learned these lessons early from her father, Max Webb, himself an extraordinary entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Chara was a visionary art collector whose passion for art was evident in her extensive modern and contemporary art collection, ranked among the world’s top ten private collections. She was known for opening her Tiburon and Los Angeles homes and offering tours of her private collection to benefit JDRF’s mission.
Chara’s commitment to JDRF was personal, dating back to Mother’s Day in 1982, when her daughter, Justine, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the young age of four. This diagnosis inspired Chara to dedicate herself to advancing research and finding a cure for the disease. Chara joined the initiative to start a local chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF at the time, now JDRF) in the Bay Area, which became a family and community of support for those with the disease.
Chara’s passion for finding a cure for type 1 diabetes led her to become a leader in diabetes research and clinical care at UCSF. She played a vital role in the creation of the Justine K Schreyer Diabetes Center, which brings together doctors, nutritionists, psychological care, and other resources to provide comprehensive support for those living with diabetes. Her involvement in the creation of this center has made the Bay Area a global leader for diabetes research and clinical care.
“I first met Chara nearly 20 years ago as a young scientist at JDRF and immediately cherished her company. She was intelligent, witty, visionary, and passionate about improving T1D. Chara graciously hosted incredible events for JDRF supporters at her beautiful homes in Tiburon, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Her passing leaves the T1D community with a profound sense of loss, as we mourn a true T1D champion.”
-Aaron Kowalski, JDRF President and CEO
In 2016, The JDRF Bay Area Chapter honored Chara for her decades of support with its Living and Giving Award at the Hope Gala. Justine was there to introduce her mother and present the award.
In recent years, Chara resided primarily in her Southern California home, enjoying the close proximity to Justine and her grandsons, while continuing her steadfast support of T1D research and JDRFs mission.
Chara Schreyer’s dedication and passion for finding a cure for type 1 diabetes will forever be remembered, and her legacy will continue to benefit countless people for years to come.