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Resilience2020 Impact Report

Thank you for your generous support. You are helping us get closer to a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D).

JDRF Canada was founded in 1974 by families affected by T1D, who were driven by the need to improve the quality of life not only for their children, but for everyone living with this disease. We work every day to honour their legacy and fund the most promising research that will one day achieve their goal of a world free from diabetes.

JDRF Canada is the leading charitable funder of T1D research in the country. Our strength lies in our exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D. JDRF Canada is proud to be a part of a global network of affiliates working towards the same vision: a world without T1D. There are JDRF affiliates in the US, UK, Australia, Netherlands and Israel.


A world without T1D.


Improving lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications.

T1D impacts as many as 300,000 Canadians and their families. It is a serious and challenging disease that must be managed with vigilance every day, but can still have serious and potentially life-threatening complications, including kidney disease, blindness, amputations and more.

Keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in check means that people living with T1D must make countless decisions daily. Insulin is a treatment, but not a cure, and T1D is currently the only autoimmune disease without a disease-modifying therapy on the market. Reliance on external sources of insulin put children at risk of dangerous blood sugar complications, like hyper or hypoglycemia which can be potentially life threatening. The longer one lives with T1D, the greater the potential for diabetes-related complications.

Canada is one of the fastest growing countries for T1D diagnoses in the world, and we don’t know why. It affects both children and adults, with the median age of diagnosis between ages 10-14 years old, although children as young as one year old can be diagnosed. While causes are still unclear and the disease cannot currently be prevented, researchers are getting closer to understanding who is at greatest risk, and how to protect and even replace insulin-producing beta cells, bringing us closer than ever to cures.

Working Toward a World Without T1D

JDRF works every day to change the reality of this disease for Canadians living with it—and to prevent anyone else from ever being diagnosed with it.

We do this by:

  • Funding ground-breaking research that is improving lives with new therapies coming to market and getting closer to finding cures
  • Advocating for government support through research funding and expanded coverage of and access to T1D devices, such as insulin pumps and advanced glucose monitoring, allowing those living with T1D to better manage their disease and potentially prevent health complications
  • Educating the T1D community on issues relevant to living with the disease, as well as connecting the community to each other to share and learn

We must keep up the pace of funding so progress doesn’t slow or stop entirely, and we can turn type one into type none.

Leadership Message

JDRF Board Chair, Ron Miller and President and CEO, Dave Prowten discuss JDRF’s activities and achievements during 2020, a year like no other. Despite the pandemic and the uncertainty it brought, JDRF proved its resiliency and pivoted to new ways of engaging supporters and donors, while laying the foundation for our new Campaign to Accelerate and the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin.

Read The Full Leadership Message

Ron Miller - Board Chair

Dave Prowten - CEO

Supporting Each Other

Thanks to your generosity, JDRF can help Canadians with type 1 diabetes (T1D) connect to each other. In 2020, despite the pandemic – we were able to maintain this sense of community through virtual events like Let’s Talk T1D and more. Close to 800 people living with T1D and their families participated in these events with plans to expand in 2021.

When connection was needed more than ever, you helped us show people that they are not alone.

Dear Type One


Mother of Caleah.

Read Myrzah's Story


Diagnosed at age 8.

Read Caleah's Story


PhD, SCYM, Immunology Research Scientist.
Diagnosed at age 5.

Read Fanny's Story


Diagnosed at age 2. With her parents Julie and Kevin, and sister, Madison.

Read Charli-Mae's Story

Accelerating Research

Thanks to the support of our generous donors, JDRF is the leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research in Canada. We also work jointly with our global affiliates to support projects around the world.

The pandemic could have impacted the pace of change but, thanks to your commitment, and the dedication of our researchers, we were still able to accelerate this crucial work.

JDRF Canada anticipates that funds to T1D research in 2021 will reach pre-pandemic levels. We also intend to substantially increase the amount of funding to T1D research per year in 2022 and beyond and aim to at least double our 2019 research funding annually by 2023. With this funding we will continue to support high-impact preclinical and clinical T1D research through conventional grants that help us advance our 4-pillared global research strategy, expand the portfolio of grants funded in partnership with CIHR and other funding agencies, and also launch a selection of special initiatives, including a JDRF Centre of Excellence at UBC focused on T1D cure research (launch date late 2021).

JDRF Active Research Grants Held In Canada In 2019 & 2020


New Grants - 8

Clinical Trials - 12

Training Awards - 11

All Grants - 38


New Grants - 3

Clinical Trials - 10

Training Awards - 11

All Grants - 27


Momentum For Change

As we look to aggressively fundraise to push forward new T1D research, our JDRF donors and advocates demonstrate their commitment to Canadians affected by T1D through their philanthropy and support.

Together they are collectively accelerating the pace of change.

The T1D Fund

In 2016, a group of JDRF volunteers identified that a lack of life sciences venture capital investment in type 1 diabetes (T1D) was one of the biggest roadblocks to progress toward a cure. To overcome that obstacle, JDRF created the T1D Fund – a combination of venture capital and philanthropy focused solely on accelerating the development of commercial products and therapies for T1D.

Curing disease demands the cooperation of a mosaic of constituents. Five years ago, we were missing a critical piece of the puzzle.

When donors back this fund, their investments support companies with a focus on drugs, devices, diagnostic tools and other health solutions with applications to T1D. The T1D Fund chooses companies that can make the greatest clinical impact on T1D – leading to better disease management and potential cures.

The T1D Fund is now the largest single-disease focused venture philanthropy fund in the world. In just four years, our Fund and its alongside venture capital have invested an incredible $500 million in T1D programs. The number of companies working on T1D therapies has grown from just a handful to more than 30 pharmaceutical and biotech companies – backed by more than 85 donors worldwide and 30+ venture capital and biotech funders. It has also led to several exciting developments in T1D and major acquisitions of T1D Fund-backed startups.

National Partnerships

JDRF Canada extends our sincerest thanks to our corporate partners, without whom much of the work we do would not be possible.

Our national partners help to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes (T1D) and JDRF in communities across Canada.

The financial support they provide, along with generous volunteer commitments help us to advance essential research into improving the lives of approximately 300,000 Canadians living with T1D and will get us closer to our goal of a cure.

AMG Medical
Bell Media
Booster Juice
Innovative Medicines Canada
National Bank
Novo Nordisk
Sandman Hotel Group
Sun Life
Tandem Diabetes Care
Ypsomed Selfcare Solutions

Partner Stories

Insulet, Makers of Omnipod
Eli Lilly

Board of Directors

Ron Miller, Chair

Partner, Lorem Partners

Lorne Shiff, Past Chair

President LandCon Ltd.

Murray Suey, Treasurer

Regional Managing Partner, KPMG Calgary

Mary Jane Devine, Secretary

Business Advisor in Health Technology

Justin Vineberg

Partner, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Helena Gottschling

Chief Human Resources Officer, RBC

Maarika Paul

Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial and Operations Officer CDPQ

Dr. David Kozloff


Matthew Varey

Senior Vice President, RBC

Ashit Dattani

Investment Advisor and Portfolio Manager, TD Wealth

Dr. Nick Hajidiacos

Physician, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Réjean Tremblay

CCO Canada, Aon

Scott Williams

Principal Consultant, The Bronte Group

Sean Murray

President and CEO, Advocate Printing & Publishing

Your Impact

View Audited Financials (PDF)