This September, the Ross Medical Education Center Grand Rapids North, Michigan campus participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) walk, to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes. The campus as a whole showed up on Saturday morning, bright and early, and showed their dedication to the event. “We all showed up with our Ross shirts on for our third annual walk,” said Office Assistant Jenny MacLarty. “Showing the community that we are a part of the awareness and willing to do our part.”
What is JDRF you ask? It is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. It was started more than 45 years ago by parents who were trying to find a cure to help their children. Type 1 diabetes is a serious autoimmune disease that attacks a person’s pancreas and stops the production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that the body produces that is essential to turning the food that we eat into energy for us to function. This disease strikes children and adults suddenly. It is nothing that you can prepare for, it just happens. And currently there is no cure for this disease. Every day there are 40 children and 40 adults diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the United States alone.
This is a difficult disease for children as they love to play and run around. Having this disease puts a toll on their daily lives. They have to constantly have to have their blood-sugar levels checked, rely on getting injections or infused insulin, and make sure that they are eating a well-balanced diet and engaging in physical activity. For their parents this is a very serious and stressful disease to manage and make sure their little ones do not miss out on being a child or the fun things in life. As of today there are more than one million people affected by this disease.
JDRF has committed over $1.9 billion to research since the early 1970s. So where does the money go? It goes to making better treatment plans, prevention, and one day a world without Type 1. According to their website, there has been $16 million in funding that has been used towards artificial pancreases, and another $13 million in funding research led to discovering Lucentis. Lucentis is a medication that works as blood vessel growth inhibitor. It can treat age-related macular degeneration. It can also treat macular edema caused by a blocked blood vessel or diabetes, and diabetic retinopathy. Because of all of the incredible efforts of JDRF, the Grand Rapids North campus was thrilled to help out and be a part of this fundraising event.