JDRF recognizes its volunteers for National Volunteer Week 2021 – April 18-24, 2021

April 19, 2021

JDRF was founded over 40 years by a group of devoted parents to provide a voice for the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community – and with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for T1D so that their children and all those who came after could know a world free from the disease.

So, the National Volunteer Week theme for 2021, The Value of One, The Power of Many feels very fitting, as it reflects on the awe-inspiring acts of kindness by millions of individuals AND the magic that happens when we work together towards a common purpose.

This past year was one like no other, as the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives completely. But one thing shone that through the darkness was the continued caring and compassion that we received from our volunteers.

As our fundraising events moved virtual, and we all learned new ways of staying connected from the safety of our homes, a constant was the support of our dedicated group of volunteers.

The power of people working together can bring about amazing changes and progress. And this has certainly been true at JDRF. All the major developments in T1D research have been funded or supported in some way by JDRF. And none of this would have been possible without the support of our volunteers.

Among some of the highlights of the past year:

  • We held our second research symposium, Bringing Breakthroughs to Life, with our partner Health Canada.
  • We created our Let’s Talk T1D education and connection series, which provided our community with relevant information on topics such as devices and the opportunity to share personal experiences with each other.
  • Sernova announced that patients in their ongoing clinical trial, funded in part by JDRF show persistent islet function and clinically meaningful improvement in glucose control.
  • With volunteers by our side, we continued our advocacy efforts federally to push for a renewal of research funding and provincially to demand #AccessforAll – affordable and accessible diabetes technologies for all Canadians living with T1D.
  • Ustekinumab, a potentially disease modifying drug for type 1 diabetes, is now being tested in clinical trials in Canada.
  • And most recently we’ve been advocating across the provinces to ensure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for people living with T1D.

The National Volunteer Week theme is a nod to the past, a reflection of the present, and a wink to the future. The Value of One, the Power of Many was also the theme for National Volunteer Week in 2001, The International Year of Volunteers.

It was chosen again as it beautifully captures both the individual and collective efforts that have been demonstrated over and over again during the pandemic, as well as setting the tone for the next 20 years as the value of one act and the power of many helps us thrive collectively.

And it feels appropriate too for JDRF, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the insulin hormone and look ahead to aggressively pursuing research that bring us closer to a cure. We know that this will only be achieved with the continued strength of our volunteers.

While we acknowledge our volunteers during this week, we our thankful and grateful for al they do each and every day.

We have over 500 volunteers across Canada, who have been with us for over 5 years.

While some choose to remain anonymous, we recognize them here:
Atlantic Canada

Prince Edward Island:

Brooks Roche

Nova Scotia:

Aaliyah Cook

Ralph & Pearl D’Eon

Hodder Family

Pam Hodgson

Elizabeth Lough

Shirley Macdonald

Sean Murray

Karen Pope

Gail Sinclair

Amanda Williams

New Brunswick:

Alisha Armour

Mary Chisholm

Renee Savoy


Karen Hollahan-Squires

Terry Ryan

Janine Stanley

Wendy Traverse



Christine Blanchette

Michel Blaquière

Michel-Olivier Bruyère

Alex Garfinkle

Fanny Guimont-Desrochers

Lise Guinois

Lorne Hindle

David Kozloff

Michel Lachapelle

Maarika Paul

Sylvain Pelletier

Louis-Philippe Thibodeau

Réjean Tremblay

Justin Vineberg & family

Robert & Rhoda Vineberg


Hamilton :

Alison Begbie

David Begbie

Doris Desantis

Dave Dunseith

Katy Dunseith

Connie Ellingham

Helen Hyett

Lana Line

The Nerby Family

William Purdy

Michael Steadman


Trudy & Jeff Adams

Donna Dériger

Doogie Dick

Richard Eaton

Stephen Emery

Stasia Hadjiyannakis

Ann Harris

Sara Kearley

Annette Loebach Bater

Alicia Magliocco

Linda & Dean McNamara

Sarah Prendergast

Rosanna Toscano


Helena Gottschling

Bonnie & Terry Jackson

Emma & Chris Marineau

Shawn Rice

Rohan & Nishi Sikri

Candice & Ken Trickey


The Stimpson family


Graham Anderson

Susan Beamish

Saida Boutahar

Sheldon Finkelstein

Kristen Garland

Judy Goldring

Dana Greenberg

Marley Greenberg

John Macintyre

Vanessa Oliver

Fred Ribinoff

Lorne Shiff

Robert Smuk

Lacey Stewart

Alison Turner

Matthew Varey

Scott Williams


Mary Licata

Cathy Smith

Dave Williams

Janice Wirch


Jane Schuett

Jim Schuett

Lindsay Ware



Kerrie Abel,

Brad Alexander

Lori Amedick

The Argo Family

Amit Bindra

Gerry Bingham

Annett Bingham

Barb Chapman

Bonny Chapman

Claude Chapman

Bob Dann

Darrin Davis

Sue Dillabough

Sandy Evans

Heidi Forrester

Megan Gillespie

Nick Hajidiacos

Ryan Heckert

Rita Hildahl

Wayne Hildahl

Deanne Jones

Garth Lancaster

Tracey McLeod-Stecy

Beth Mungal

Jackie Murray

Cheryl Peltier

Ivan Poturica

Ken Preston

Tannis Richardson

Michele Scharf

Paul Scharf

Mike Scott

Tannis Scott

Noah Silvaggio

Tara Silvaggio

Nadia Klun Stadler

Leif Thorsteinson

Clint Toews

Margo Toole

Noah Weiszner

Myrna Weiszner

Jessica Williams


Simone Dixon

Jamie Olsen



Bonnie Barber

David Easton

Carla Feld

Ted O’Brien


The Rowe Family

Maria Strasser

Alberta :


Laurie Friesen

Jim Giroux

Mark Hawkins

Stephen Kennedy

Ryan Macdonald

Ron Miller

Jacqueline Molin

Marc Molin

Judy Williams-Park


Nancy Arnold

Chantel Bauer

Debbie Atkinson

Adam Gilewicz

Stephen Karlowsky

Arlene Kemble

Ken Kenitiuk

Deb & Frank Key

Greg Mailo

Warren Matthews

Craig Morrison

Nancy Tout

Monica Yeats

British Columbia:

Jim Beattie

Kris & Ashit Dattani

Mary Jane Devine

Kim Findlater

Stephanie Orr

Christina Pearce

Michelle Tice

Honouring our JDRF Volunteers at the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards

April 9, 2021

Volunteers can often be unsung heroes of an organization, but they help drive a mission forward with unparalleled dedication and perseverance, especially the volunteers at JDRF. And we couldn’t be more excited and honoured to recognize some of our incredible volunteers who always go above and beyond for the type 1 diabetes community.

The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards provide Not-for-Profit organizations the opportunity to recognize long-standing volunteers for their achievements.  JDRF was thrilled to celebrate some of our key volunteers in Ontario, who were nominated by our staff.  This dedicated and committed group were honoured in March 2021 via a virtual reception. A big congratulations and thank you to our amazing Ontario volunteers who have committed many years of service!

The 2020 Ontario Volunteer Service Award Winners are:

Youth Category – two or more years of continuous volunteer service

Lauren Penston (Waterloo, three years):  Lauren has been a JDRF Youth Ambassador since the age of 9. Since taking on this role, Lauren has proven to be a wonderful, young leader in her community.  She welcomes opportunities to speak about her type 1 diabetes (T1D) journey at the JDRF Walk, Fundraise Your Way events, and helps whenever she can as a volunteer – ready to recruit and thank our participants! Lauren also developed her own school presentation, to help her peers at school understand what life is like for a kid living with T1D. 

Anne Pettigrew (Toronto, two years):  Anne is a youth ambassador who has continually supported JDRF in any way that she can, through community engagement, advocacy and promotion of JDRF. Anne has also been a Kids for a Cure delegate, and was our Co-Chair for Kids for a Cure in 2020. Anne brings her passion for story telling and coaching to each and every meeting, creating a lasting impression on those she meets. 

Adult Category – five to 65 years of continuous volunteer service, awarded at five year intervals

Jim and Jane Schuett (Waterloo, five years):  Jim and Jane have been attending the Walk as participants and volunteers of the Walk  Committee for over 18 years.  One of Waterloo Region’s most dedicated JDRF families, the Schuett’s have contributed their time and expertise at nearly every JDRF Waterloo event held over the last several years, always stepping up to help new Fundraise Your Way events, and even volunteering for JDRF events away from home.

Janice Wirch (Windsor, five years):  Janice is involved in the Walk committee, mentor team, and  our Community Engagement events. She also helped found the “Back to School” event in Windsor. She is a leader in the community and is always willing to help at JDRF events, especially when she can connect with the local T1D  community.

Mary Licatta (Windsor, 20 years):  Mary has been involved with the JDRF Walk since 1997, when her son was diagnosed with T1D. . She has chaired the Walk, been on the committee, and has been a top-ten team ever since. Mary works closely with the Windsor community to ensure all community members living with T1D feel supported.

Deboarah Dick (Ottawa, 10 years):  Deborah has been a longtime committee and event volunteer supporting many years of events in Ottawa.  She brings her passion and dedication to each event she supports, bringing out the best of her fellow volunteers. We are lucky to have Deborah volunteer for so many years – and thrilled that she has received this great award!

JDRF is so proud of our passionate volunteers who generously donate their time, voice and skills to the type 1 diabetes community. Their contributions are invaluable in helping us move our mission forward every day. We wouldn’t be able to fund ground-breaking research and improve the lives of those living with T1D without their help.