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All news

Find out the latest news about JDRF's research and fundraising events.

Displaying April 2012


Type 1 Parliament – A fantastic success…

JDRF are delighted to report that our inaugural mass lobbying event, Type 1 Parliament, was extremely well received by all at Westminster. Over 50 MPs attended our morning event in Parliament and talked to supporters and delegates about the realities of living with type 1 diabetes. JDRF delegates put their messages across incredibly effectively and articulately, and communicated passionately the facts of type 1 diabetes.

MPs commented on the day and have been in touch with JDRF, stating how much they enjoyed the event and meeting with delegates. They have told us they were overwhelmed by all the children and adults they met with and thought they were fantastic ambassadors for the charity. There was a real buzz around the event and we truly succeeded in educating politicians about type 1 diabetes and raising type 1 diabetes up the political agenda.

JDRF will be working hard to build upon the momentum of this day and to continue to effectively work with these MPs in the future. We will be in later next week, with details of our next steps forward and how you can help us to take these relationships forward.

The media have also been keen to pick up on the event, with well over 350 pieces of national, local and online media mentioning JDRF and type 1 diabetes. Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 programme You and Yours talking about type 1 diabetes.

Our afternoon Question Time event was also a brilliantly received, with many thought-provoking and passionate questions receiving interesting and evocative responses from our panellists. In particular, it was a great opportunity for the Rt Hon. David Willets, the Minister responsible for Universities and Science, to hear the direct case for greater investment into type 1 research.

JDRF extends our thanks to all involved in Type 1 Parliament for making it such a worthwhile, enjoyable and productive day. We will now continue to work hard and build upon the success of the event.

You can view photos from the day on our Flickr account:


Prime Minister supports Type 1 Parliament

‘I welcome JDRF's Type 1 Parliament event, which puts the spotlight on type 1 diabetes. It provides the opportunity for people living with this unavoidable autoimmune condition to have their voices heard in Parliament,’ said the Prime Minister, David Cameron ‘I enthusiastically support JDRFs research programme, which aims to better treat, prevent and ultimately find the cure for type 1 diabetes.’

Today 60 children and adults with type 1 diabetes will be in the Houses of Parliament lobbying their MPs. They will take a message about the need for a greater investment in type 1 medical research to the heart of government.

Throughout the morning the children and adults will be meeting with more than 70 MPs to discuss what living with type 1 diabetes is like, and explain what a cure would mean to them.

They will then attend a panel debate where they will be able to challenge the Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, and other panellists on the lack of research funding and many other questions.


Well done to JDRF's Virgin London Marathon runners

Congratulations to all of the JDRF runners who completed Sunday's Virgin London Marathon. The team featured 195 runners (including 26 with type 1 diabetes) who successfully completed the 26.2 mile course from Greenwich Park to The Mall. After crossing the finish line the runners met up with their supporters at the JDRF Recovery Venue for a well deserved sit down and massage. A special thank you to all the volunteers who helped out on the day cheering the JDRF team on from our Supporter Zone, and also to the students from Moulton College in Northamptonshire who provided the massage service for the JDRF runners at our Recovery Venue.

If you are interested in running the Virgin London Marathon 2013 for JDRF please contact Jon Medcraft on 020 7713 2032 or email


£1.5m insulin pump boost revealed in Scotland

JDRF welcomes the news that there is to be a £1.5 million boost in Scotland to provide more young people with insulin pumps. This is exciting news for young people with type 1 in Scotland. The funding will ensure more people have access to life-changing equipment such as insulin pumps, which can help people with type 1 to manage their condition effectively.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the investment would help to ensure that a pledge to make insulin pumps available to 480 children and teenagers with type 1 diabetes is met by the end of March next year.

David Newman, Head of Public Affairs at JDRF said: “JDRF commends Scotland on leading the way on providing better access to insulin pumps. It is crucial that England and other regions follow suit. It is vital that people with type 1 can manage their condition and look after their health, whilst we search for the cure.

We are passionate about raising awareness of type 1 and are looking forward to hosting our first ever lobbying event, Type 1 Parliament. On 25 April we will push for greater investment into type 1 diabetes medical research.” 


Help us get nominated for the Co-operative Charity of the Year 2013!

We need as many people as we can to become a member of the Co-operative and then nominate JDRF as a prospect for the Co-op COTY 2013.

The Co-op raised a staggering £7million for Mencap and ENABLE Scotland - we would hope to be considered under the Co-op's goal of "Inspiring Young People."

You are a member of the Co-op if you have a Co-op bank account, a Britannia building society account or a loan from either of these companies.

Their membership department is on 0800 0234708 and they will check for you and let you know if you are already a member and give you your membership number.

Please follow the link below to sign up. You effectively become a shareholder of the Co-op and receive lots of benefits by being a member so everyone's a winner!

All help appreciated!

Then click here to enter your membership number and vote:

Supporters are helping via Facebook and CWD are on the case so fingers crossed we will get enough votes to be considered!


Know your type 1 survey

Animas UK & Ireland is running a survey to better understand opinions of sports and exercise within the type 1 diabetes community compared to the perceptions of people without diabetes, and they’d like your help.

Misconceptions regarding type 1 diabetes and sport are common. The team at Animas believes that living with diabetes shouldn’t force someone to play it safe, compromise, or hold back in any way.

Please help them by completing the survey. Click here to take the survey.

It should only take a few minutes and Animas will enter all responses into a prize draw for two people to attend their Sports & Exercise weekend at Loughborough University.

The survey is going to be answered by people with and without diabetes so please answer as fully and accurately as possible.

Animas will donate £1 to JDRF for every survey completed.

The survey closes on Wednesday 25 April 2012.


Climbing for a cure: Neil McDonald to take on Mount Everest for JDRF

Neil McDonald, 42 from Aberdeen, is to climb Mount Everest and raise over £100,000 for JDRF.

Neil’s epic challenge is inspired by his daughter Darcey, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes three years ago. Motivated by how bravely Darcey coped with her condition and having seen the daily test type 1 diabetes placed upon his daughter and family, Neil decided he wanted to match this with an act of equal challenge, while also generating serious funds for JDRF.

Placing fundraising at the heart of his climb, Neil set an ambitious target of raising £100,000, with every penny of donations received going to JDRF. His wife, Linzie, has been spear-heading the fund-raising efforts and put on a highly successful James Bond themed ball which generated £83,000 in a single night.

In addition to fundraising, Neil has been training hard for the challenge, including summiting Europe’s highest peak Mont Blonc and Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America. Neil has spent every available moment training and getting his body and mind fit for the challenge.

Linzie says: “This is important for Neil and for Darcey – for all of us. It has galvanised our family and made us all feel a little less helpless, a little less intimidated by type 1 and a lot closer together in achieving this goal.”

Neil, Linzie and Darcey have also featured in an STV News piece, documenting Neil’s momentous challenge and Darcey’s condition. This can be viewed here

To date, over £108,000 has been raised to support research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. We are incredibly grateful to Neil and Linzie and all those who have donated funds to the McDonalds. All funds received allow us to support more research and take us a step closer to finding the cure. If you wish to donate to the McDonald’s fundraising effort visit

We wish Neil the best of luck for his epic challenge, and Neil’s blog and more details can be found here:


Stressed out beta cells

The JDRF-funded research team at the University of Indiana, led by Dr Sarah Tersey, found that beta cells can become 'stressed' and die even before the immune system begins its attack. The study was published in the journal Diabetes last week.

Not much is known about what happens in the build-up to the immune attack that targets beta cells and causes type 1: this study has given us some important new clues. By studying the development of type 1 diabetes in mice, the research team were able to observe that a part of the beta cell called the ‘endoplasmic reticulum’ can get very stressed in the early development of type 1 and trigger a process called 'apoptosis' that kills the beta cell. This can happen before the immune system begins its attack – it is possible that this stress response may even contribute to activating the process of autoimmune destruction.

The endoplasmic reticulum plays an important part in producing insulin, so it is a particularly sensitive part of the beta cell. Dr Tersey and her team found that stress on the endoplasmic reticulum affects the way insulin is produced – causing a chain of events that can eventually kill the cell. This is the first study to show that defects in insulin production can happen before the immune system begins to attack beta cells.

Rachel Connor, Head of Research Communication at JDRF said ‘A better understanding of the events that lead up to type 1 may help to advance strategies to delay or prevent the development of the condition. Dr Tersey’s study gives us new insight in to the very earliest stages of type 1 and opens new avenues of investigation that could lead us to an explanation of exactly what triggers the autoimmune attack in the first place’.


Have your say about type 1

On 25 April, we will be staging our first lobbying day to raise awareness of type 1. When we ask Government for greater investment into type 1 research, we want to be able to speak up on your behalf about the issues that matter to you. We want to communicate to MPs, key influencers and the general public how type 1 affects every aspect of life, whilst getting rid of the misconceptions surrounding the condition. In order to do this, we need to be able to demonstrate how thousands of people across the UK are affected by type 1 every day.

This is why we’re asking you to share your experiences of living with type 1 diabetes. If you can spare two minutes, please take a moment to answer this quick survey about how type 1 has changed your or your child’s life; whether it be in your home life or at work and school.

We would be ever so grateful if you are able to fill out this survey. It will help us take a strong message to Parliament. We will post the results of the survey on our website on 25 April, so keep an eye out!  


Today marks the start of improved care for young people with type 1

JDRF is delighted to see today’s announcement that every child and young person with type 1 diabetes in England can expect an improvement in their level of care. NHS Diabetes has announced this good news as a funding agreement for paediatric diabetes services has been made.

Leading paediatric doctors, nurses and commissioners have worked together with NHS Diabetes to create a 'Best Practice Tariff for Paediatric. The practice tariff sets out 13 mandatory care standards that paediatric diabetes service teams must meet. Those who can prove they meet these levels of care will be able to get more funding. Local services which don’t achieve the required level of standards will be supported to improve but may have funding taken away if they are unable to meet the standards by April 2013.

It is hoped that this tariff will help to reduce costs to the service whilst also lowering the number of emergency hospital admissions among children with type 1 diabetes, and the incidence of life-changing, yet often preventable, complications of the condition.

JDRF welcomes this news in the hope that it will ensure people with type 1 are able to effectively manage their condition and will remain healthy whilst we fund research to find the cure for the condition.

If you want to have a read of the full report, you can find it here.

NHS Diabetes is asking healthcare professionals involved in the support and care of children and young people with diabetes to join their paediatric diabetes network as a way of sharing good practice. For more information about the Best Practice Tariff and how to join the NHS Diabetes paediatric diabetes network, email Marie Cummins