Diabetes is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system. There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, or insulin resistant diabetes, Type 1 is not treatable by diet, exercise and lifestyle change alone. It is a severe medical disorder requiring constant control, monitoring and treatment. Also unlike Type 2 which can be a totally reversible condition, Type 1 cannot yet be cured.
While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Type 1 diabetes strikes people at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. As many as three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes, and each year more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults – approximately 80 people per day – are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the U.S.
To stay alive, people with type 1 diabetes must take multiple insulin injections daily or continually infuse insulin through a pump. They must also test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. While trying to balance insulin doses with their food intake and daily activities, people with this form of diabetes still must always be prepared for serious hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, both of which can be life-limiting and life threatening. While insulin injections or infusions allow a person with type 1 to stay alive, they do not cure diabetes, nor do they necessarily prevent the possibility of the disease’s devastating effects, which may include: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputations, heart attack, stroke, and pregnancy complications.
JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of Type 1 diabetes research worldwide. JDRF’s mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. JDRF leverages its impact by partnering with academic institutions, governments, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, other disease organizations and foundations, and people with type 1 diabetes. JDRF was founded in 1970 in Philadelphia by parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Today, volunteers at JDRF’s more than 100 locations worldwide remain the driving force behind the Foundation’s success in advancing research toward a cure. Because of their personal connection to type 1 diabetes, JDRF’s volunteers have a passionate and unrelenting commitment to the JDRF mission.
This first annual Rockin Docs for Diabetes Cure was conceived and created by Kenneth Einhorn M.D., Jeremy Jaffe M.D. (himself diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over 20 years ago) and Nancy Wolfson, all of whom are parents of children with type 1 diabetes. All profits raised by Rockin Docs for Diabetes Cure will go toward JDRF to help fund their research to find a cure for diabetes and complications.