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All news

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

Displaying May 2011


Aker QServ

JDRF chosen as Aker Qserv’s Charity of the Year

Aker Qserv has announced it will work with JDRF as its Charity of the Year to boost fundraising activities in support of our search for the cure for type 1 diabetes.

Aker Qserv’s employees have already been playing their part to help raise money for JDRF. 25 volunteers took part in the Scotland Walk to Cure Diabetes 2010 in Hazlehead Park, along with seven pupils from Portlethen Primary School and three parents. In total, an impressive £6,200 was raised for JDRF.

Alastair Brookes, Development Manager for JDRF in Scotland, said: ‘We are delighted to have been chosen as Aker Qserv’s Charity of the Year in 2011. I’m confident that we can work together to raise a significant amount of money for research to find the cure for type 1 diabetes and look forward to being part of this exciting partnership.’

Aker Qserv Operational Director for Process and Pipeline, Graeme Wood, who has been actively involved in the fundraising so far, said: ‘Aker Qserv is very proud to be sponsoring such a worthwhile cause and will do its upmost to raise as much as possible to help aid the research into finding the cure for type 1 diabetes.’


Pilot with type 1 recognised for record-breaking flights

We are delighted to share the news that former pilot with the British Royal Air Force, and now US-qualified private pilot with type 1 diabetes has been recognised by the National Aeronautic Association for his achievements in breaking world records flying around the world.

Loyal supporter of JDRF, Douglas Cairns, was congratulated by the NAA for completing the Diabetes Flight 50. He was given an award for making one of the Most Memorable Aviation Records of 2010 for breaking the existing 13-day record for the fastest time to land in all 50 US States and the District of Columbia. Completing the journey in 5 days, 15 hours and 16 minutes Douglas flew over to Washington DC to be presented with his award.

In April this year, Douglas took on another ambitious flying challenge. For his
Diabetes Polar Flight (DPF) he set off from Barrow in Alaska in a 16 hour long trip to set a new speed record flying to the North Pole. Why not check out his landing on YouTube here 

Through Diabetes Flight 50 and Diabetes Polar Flight, Douglas has raised over £40,000 for JDRF, whilst also raising awareness of the condition as his story has been covered widely in national news from the UK Daily newspapers to Reuters.

We now look forward to the annual fund-raising dinner that Douglas Cairns, along with three friends, Mel Parker, Deb Parker, and Al Rogers organises.This year is a joint effort at The Grange Hotel, London, on 10th June, to raise funds for both JDRF and Indian Ocean Disaster Relief which focuses on helping vulnerable children. 


Families affected by type 1 diabetes on holiday together

As part of the UK Children with Diabetes Advocacy Group, Adrienne Burton has organised for parents of children living with type 1 diabetes to go on holiday together over the past four years. She contacted JDRF to tell us what a success the trip had been over the last May bank holiday. When the idea first started, 14 families took part in the trip. This year 50 families came and there were over 200 people on the weekend break in The Cotswolds.

JDRF staff member Siobhan Murphy also went along for the long weekend trip.

It’s a great opportunity for parents and children who live with type 1 to spend time in the company of people who understand the realities of living with the condition and who can share their experiences of learning to care for a child who has type 1.

If you would be interested in getting involved with a holiday then you can learn more through joining the CWD group.


Discovering hope at Puxton Park

Debbie Young is a JDRF supporter and mother to Laura, an eight year old girl with type 1 diabetes. They both attended the JDRF Type 1 Discovery Day at Puxton Park on Saturday 7 May 2011 and Debbie has written an account of the day... 

Not being much of a scientist, when I went along to this year’s JDRF Discovery Day at Puxton Park I was prepared for the scientific presentations to go over my head. So I was mightily impressed when I realised that thanks to Dr Garry Dolton I suddenly understood the concept of T-cells and their role in the development of type 1 diabetes.

Dr Dolton is part of the T-cell Modulation Group ( at Cardiff University School of Medicine’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Biochemistry. His team is carrying out valuable research into why certain T-cells attack insulin-producing cells. Their findings could be critical on the path to preventing and reversing type 1 diabetes. Dr Dolton’s description of T-cells ‘touring the body on surveillance seeking infections and bacteria to kill,’ (mistakenly striking pancreatic beta cells en route) brought James Bond to mind. Never has the search for the cure sounded so exciting! The futuristic laser technology used to identify and track them would certainly seem at home in a 007 film. JDRF is the sole source of funding for this ground-breaking project, and Dr Dolton’s eloquent and accessible explanation was a persuasive argument to support JDRF.

But the Discovery Day was not just about the search for the cure. It also advised how best to manage diabetes until the cure is found. Sabrina Dawe, a volunteer from, gave a crystal clear explanation of the value of insulin pumps as an alternative to injection therapy. Her own son has used a pump since diagnosis at 11 months, but her explanation was measured and rational, rather than evangelical – this was no sales pitch. Instead it simply equipped the audience to make their own decisions about whether a pump would be right for them.

The Discovery Day balanced the science of type 1 diabetes and its management with coping strategies for the emotional burden that diabetes places on the individual and their family. Annabel Astle, whose daughter Mimi was diagnosed with type 1 when a baby, gave a moving but ultimately positive account of how diabetes has affected her whole family. Annabel’s husband Jeff then reported on his means of coping by taking a practical approach to fundraising. Along with Sabrina Dawe and 11 other members of ‘Team Pingu’, he ran this year’s London Marathon.

By the end of the morning the audience was left in no doubt as to the value of supporting JDRF, whatever their preferred method of fundraising. We then spent the afternoon enjoying the wonderful family facilities of Puxton Park (free admission was kindly granted to families attending the Discovery Day). The highlight was the amazing owl encounter – catch it next time if you missed it and you will remember it for the rest of your life! I was left buoyed up by the whole day and more resolved than ever to complete my mission the following weekend of running the Bristol 10k for Team Pingu. (Not sure whether I’ll ever make marathon status!)

But that night I was brought back to earth when my daughter had a severe hypo at 3am. Frightening in its intensity, it was a sobering reminder that seeking the cure for type 1 diabetes is a serious, urgent business.

I am thankful to JDRF for all that they do. Their search for the cure continues behind closed doors as we go about our daily lives managing our children’s condition. JDRF then open the doors to us on these occasions and gives us hope for their future. 

For further information on JDRF's Type 1 Discovery Days and other similar events, please visit


Sanofi-Aventis on BBC programme about fake medicines

One of JDRF’s Corporate Partners sanofi-aventis has featured in an episode of the BBC series ‘Fake Britain’, which explored the use of fake medicines in Britain. The series is hosted by Dominic Littlewood and looks at fakes, forgeries and scams occurring in the UK.

The BBC1 crew filmed at the healthcare company’s head office in Guildford, and also filmed tours of the lab where sanofi-aventis tests counterfeit medicines. The programme will also feature a clip of a raid at a drug dealer's house which was part of one of their anti counterfeit cases.

The ‘Medicines’ episode was shown on Wednesday 18 May at 9:15am on BBC1. 


Wood Group lunches

Free Wood Group lunches aid type 1 diabetes research

During the Christmas period Wood Group provided free lunches in return for charitable donations in support of JDRF and the type 1 diabetes research we fund. We are delighted to announce that the event was a huge success and raised an impressive £1130.40. Thank you so much to all who contributed!


JDRF awards celebrate research excellence

Three scientists who have made exceptional contributions to research into type 1 diabetes were recognised today when they received the David Rumbough Award for Scientific Excellence and the Gerold & Kayla Grodsky Basic Research Scientist Award. The awards were presented during JDRF’s Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.

The Gerold & Kayla Grodsky Basic Research Scientist Award is presented annually to a scientist, or team of scientists, who has demonstrated excellent leadership and innovation in type 1 diabetes research. This year’s award was presented to Pedro L. Herrera, Ph.D.

Established almost 40 years ago by actress Dina Merrill in honour of her late son, David, the Rumbough Award is given away every year in recognition of outstanding achievement in diabetes research and service to JDRF.Alvin C. Powers, M.D. and Professor John A. Todd, Ph.D received the award jointly this year.

Professor Todd is the founding director of the JDRF-Wellcome Trust Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, a world-class center for multidisciplinary study, and led the creation of one of the largest genetic research projects in type 1 diabetes. His approach laid an important foundation from which key discoveries in type 1 diabetes research began to emerge—discoveries ranging from the underlying genetics which predispose someone to have type 1 diabetes, to the cellular and molecular processes involved in the condition. His leadership also encouraged the development of biomedical resources and new technologies in clinical genetics. Professor Todd has authored more than 390 publications and received several awards for his research.

“I’m delighted that these researchers have been recognised for their dedication and superb scientific contributions in the type 1 arena,” said Dr. Eleanor Kennedy, Head of Research Communication at JDRF. “Our mission at JDRF is to find the cure for the condition and so we are proud to be working with these highly regarded scientists to achieve this.”


Glamorous Curaball a fantastic success

This year’s CuraBall 2011 took place last Saturday 14th May at Englefield House, in Berkshire, after Richard and Zoe Benyon kindly hosted the event at their property. The invitation only evening event consisted of a champagne reception, followed by a delicious dinner with wine. Entertainment included a silent auction and comedy from Rory Bremner to entertain guests before the dancing started.

The first CuraBall was held in May 2006 when Astrid St Aubyn and Mia Woodford decided to organise an event which would be fun whilst raising both awareness of and funds for two conditions; colon cancer and type 1 diabetes. Astrid’s daughter Isabella developed the lifelong condition of type 1 diabetes shortly after the death of her father Mike from colon cancer; Astrid then spotted the same symptoms in Mia’s son Will.

The first Cura Ball raised over £500,000 and the event this year is set to raise the same staggering total. Money raised from the ball will be split between several charities including JDRF. You can read more about the event here


JDRF launches Rufus Christmas card competition

We know it is quite a long way off, but we are already thinking about Christmas!

This year, we would love you to get involved in our Christmas card competition by designing a Rufus Christmas card. It is totally up to you how you do this but the competition is now open, so why not roll up your sleeves, get the kids involved and get thinking about your design!

You can visit the JDRF T1 Kids website to get some more ideas...

The winning entry will become part of the JDRF greetings card collection this Christmas!

The competition closes on 31 May 2011.  Send your entry to us by post: Christmas Card Competition. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 19 Angel Gate, City Road, London, EC1V 2PT 
Or email:


Coeliac UK raises awareness with the Gluten-free challenge

The charity Coeliac UK is inviting the general public to have a go at leading gluten-free lives this week, to mark their awareness week from 16 - 22 May. In a bid to get people thinking about the gluten-free diet from a fresh perspective and helping them to understand what it is like to live with coeliac disease, the charity has launched the 'Gluten-free challenge'. They also want to make clear to the catering industry that gluten-free food is in high demand so that they can provide improved choices for those on the gluten-free diet.

We know that type 1 diabetes and Coeliac are linked, after JDRF funded researchers at the University of Cambridge and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry discovered that type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease share a common genetic origin, explaining why there is a high prevalence of people who have both conditions. You can read about this research in more detail here

Please help support Coeliac UK in raising awareness of the condition. There are many ways people can get involved; From asking friends or family to follow a completely gluten-free diet for a week, to getting your office involved or simply encouraging your local restaurant to add gluten-free options to their menu.

Visit their website for more information.


Justin Webb talks type 1 on air for Radio 4 Charity Appeal

On Sunday 22 May broadcaster and journalist Justin Webb will be talking about his experiences of living with type 1 diabetes on Radio 4 to raise awareness of the condition and to encourage people to support research into the condition. You can read more of Justin’s personal story here

Tune in to hear the appeal on BBC Radio Four 92.4-94.6FM, LW 198 at 0755am and 2126pm on Sunday 22 May and at 1527pm on the following Thursday. Alternatively you can also listen online at

Justin will be telling the story of his son Sam being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and explaining to the nation why research to find the cure for type 1 diabetes is so important. If you can, we would be grateful for any money you can donate to support JDRF when the appeal goes live. 
As Justin is speaking out about type 1 to inform Radio 4 listeners, it would help us to reach even more people if you were able to share your own story with the nation to help raise awareness. You can help spread the message even further by making your own short appeal and uploading it to YouTube.


JDRF Chief Executive's Insulin Pump Diary

Many of you will know that our Chief Executive Karen Addington has type 1 diabetes. However you may not be aware that this year she took the bold step to start using an insulin pump for the first time.

After injecting insulin for over 30 years, the transition to a pump has been a big change for Karen, so she very kindly agreed to record her experiences along the way. You can read Karen’s Insulin Pump Diary  on our website. Her experiences with a new type of pump called the Omnipod make fascinating reading.

Through our 1 Campaign, JDRF has been working to improve access to insulin pumps. Currently only 4% of people with type 1 diabetes in the UK use a pump, yet nearly 35% of people in the USA use them.

It is great news that Karen has started using a pump and we hope that she continues to have a positive experience using the equipment and that her story offers inspiration to anyone who is considering getting a pump. For more information about insulin pump therapy, especially if you have difficulty accessing pumps, visit INPUT.


JDRF and Amylin partner to explore if mixing human hormone with insulin could better treat type 1

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Amylin Pharmaceuticals have today announced that they will be working together to fund a series of clinical studies testing the use of amylin in type 1 diabetes treatment. The research will establish whether mixing the drug pramlintide, a man-made version of the human hormone amylin, with insulin could improve blood glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes, compared to the use of insulin alone.

In a healthy pancreas, both insulin and amylin are produced and released by the same cells. The two hormones work together to help stabilise blood glucose levels. Insulin helps the body regulate production and storage of glucose, while amylin helps control the rate at which glucose enters the blood after meals.

Currently, patients who use pramlintide must separately administer their daily insulin therapy, either through injections or an insulin pump. Creating a mixture of the two drugs that still offers the benefits of both hormones, might better mimic the way a healthy pancreas works.

This is the second research partnership between JDRF and Amylin working to improve treatments for people with type 1 diabetes. The project is part of JDRF’s Industry Discovery and Development Partnership (IDDP) program aiming to accelerate research that will lead to better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Eleanor Kennedy, Head of Research Communication at JDRF said, ‘ It will be interesting to see whether mixing pramlintide with insulin has the potential to help people with type 1 diabetes tighten their glucose control. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of the research resulting from this partnership.”