World Diabetes Day: Time to Speak Up for a Practical Cure

This Sunday, November 14 is World Diabetes Day, an event celebrated every year on the birthday of Dr. Fredrick Banting. Over 100 years ago, Dr. Banting made the crucial discovery that diabetes can be treated, but not cured, with insulin.

On this World Diabetes Day, we invite you to reflect on the accomplishments of the past 100 years and recognize the challenges that still lie ahead. We acknowledge the significant effort the T1D community puts into advancing a cure every year and reflect on what more we – together – must do to see a cure in our lifetime.


The generosity of people affected by T1D is a powerful force that drives hundreds of millions of dollars to T1D organizations every year.

For T1D we walk, we run, we ride, we dance. The money we raise at these events is important, as is the sense of community they foster. A walk-a-thon on a brisk fall day alongside other people who understand and relate to our struggle connects us as one.

For T1D we donate, we sponsor, we solicit. T1D fundraising is essential because the hundreds of millions of dollars raised fuels much of the T1D research conducted around the world. That support – particularly the portion of it used to fund cure research – is essential.

For T1D we struggle. We wake up at 3AM to treat lows, watch our diet, check our blood sugars constantly. Perhaps this is the greatest cost on our daily lives. With the constant worry, we pay in sweat and tears as well as dollars and cents.

And so, we wish we may find a way for it to end; we wish for a Practical Cure for T1D.


Who in the T1D community has not heard this promise? While it is true that medical research is more advanced today than ever before in history, not enough is being done to bring a T1D cure into fruition. Only 2% of the 500+ type 1 diabetes clinical trials registered in the United States today have a chance to deliver a Practical Cure for T1D.

Furthermore, less money is spent on T1D cure research today than at any point in the past twenty years. The ADA and JDRF have dramatically reduced the amount of money directed to cure research grants, and the National Institutes of Health, the key funder of early-stage T1D research, rarely funds human-stage Practical Cure trials.

If our leaders take their foot off the gas, how will have a chance for a cure in our lifetime?


If you are one of the many holding out hope that there will be a cure in the near future, your hope is not misplaced, but your actions may be. While it’s easy to feel like cure promises only to lead to disappointment and confusion, you, the T1D donor, are the most vital part of the T1D research ecosystem. Your voice is the most powerful way we can bring attention and focus on T1D cure research.

As you plan your charitable giving this year, we implore you to speak up. Don’t give and go. Tell your local diabetes nonprofit chapter heads, executives, and boards of directors that you want your donation to be used to fund Practical Cure research. Attach a comment or send an email along with your gift stating how the donation should be used.

Thank you for taking the time to reflect with us on this important day. Together, we can achieve a Practical Cure for T1D.