JDRF’s Legal Sector Challenge: Taking Bold Steps to Accelerate Type 1 Diabetes Research

When we come together as a collective, we can accomplish great things.

A dedicated group of lawyers and law firms from across Canada rallied together this year to support JDRF’s Legal Sector Challenge, raising funds to help accelerate the pace of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Thanks to their bold commitment to the T1D community, JDRF will be able to allocate more dollars to research into cures and treatments to improve lives. We are beyond grateful to the philanthropic leaders who rose to the challenge of providing gifts.

Thank you to our generous donors who participated:

  • Andrew and Lisa Wiseman 
  • Anonymous donation
  • Brian Johnston
  • Christine Pound
  • Daniela Bassan
  • Dorsey & Whitney Foundation
  • Fasken
  • Fred Rubinoff
  • Goldman, Spring, Kichler & Sanders LLP
  • Grant Machum
  • Jeffrey and Shawna Citron
  • Jen Feron and Jim Murphy
  • John Currie
  • Larry Freeman
  • Leonard Baranek
  • Level Chan
  • Matthew Newell
  • Maurice Chiasson
  • Norton Rose Fulbright Canada
  • Sheldon Freeman
  • Susan Hayes
  • Todd Schindeler
  • William McCullough

Thank you to the legal sector volunteer leaders who championed the challenge:

  • Fred Rubinoff, Goodmans LLP
  • Rebecca Saturley, Stewart McKelvey
  • Dan Miller, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Where the Challenge Began

In 2023, JDRF Canada volunteers Fred Rubinoff, Rebecca Saturley, and Dan Miller – all lawyers who have a personal connection to T1D – started the Legal Challenge to mobilize their industry, inspired by similar challenges in the commercial real estate and wealth management sectors. With personal connections to T1D, they are devoted to creating a world without this chronic disease, not only for their loved ones but all Canadians impacted by T1D.

Fred Rubinoff is passionate about changing the landscape of this debilitating disease for everyone living with T1D worldwide. Ever since his late wife Tracey, who lived with T1D for many years, sadly passed away in 2004 from diabetes-related complications, Fred has been driven to help accelerate life-saving treatments and potential cures for T1D.

“Tracey did not have access to the comprehensive diabetes care she needed throughout her adolescence – I don’t want any other family to have to endure that or such a loss. People with T1D need adequate support to help them cope with this life-long condition and hope that a cure is on the horizon. I want to press forward and unite to fund initiatives that help ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else and see an end to this disease for good.”

– Fred Rubinoff

Where the Dollars Go

All donations to the Legal Challenge will bolster JDRF’s Accelerator Fund, which allows JDRF to be nimble in our efforts to fund cure-based research while also improving lives today. The fund makes an immediate impact by supporting all areas of JDRF, including the greatest needs within the $100M Campaign to Accelerate.

Here are a few examples of what the Accelerator Fund supports:

  • Promising cure-based T1D research in Canada and across the globe
  • Training for mental health providers on how to best support clients living with T1D
  • Operational costs such as research and financial oversight, and revenue generation
  • Advocacy for better access and affordability to life-saving devices through Access for All

Advocacy is an area that hits home for Rebecca Saturley and her son, Oliver, diagnosed with T1D at age 9, who live in a province where advanced glucose monitors are not covered by provincial health plans, and people must pay out of pocket for these life-saving devices. Everyone deserves affordable access to technologies to help ease the burden of life with T1D.

Fred, Rebecca, and Dan hope the success of the Legal Sector Challenge will spark interest and inspire others to support the Accelerator Fund and help transform lives across Canada. Donor support helps make JDRF’s work possible – these investments continue the momentum in critical T1D cure research, advocacy, and innovative projects to improve the lives of people with T1D today and tomorrow. With research moving faster than ever, now is the time to champion a future without T1D.

Are you interested in learning more or starting a sector challenge of your own?

To find out how you can further engage with JDRF or give to the Accelerator Fund, contact Tammy Bucci, Director of Leadership Giving, at tbucci@jdrf.ca.

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