Monsters Are Real

January 21, 2021

For those of you who live with type 1 diabetes (T1D) or have a loved one who does, you know that T1D can feel like a monster that impacts every aspect of your life.

The discovery of the insulin hormone 100 years ago helped to tame the monster, but it’s always there; spoiling even the simplest moments in life. To mark insulin’s centenary, JDRF has been working tirelessly on a bold and innovative plan to defeat the T1D monster, once and for all.

T1D affects every aspect of life. It comes with health implications, an economic burden to families and governments with expensive treatment costs and the psychosocial effects of living with a chronic illness that impacts every decision a person makes throughout their day.

2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin and to mark this important milestone, JDRF Canada, the largest charitable funder of T1D research in Canada, is pleased to announce the launch of our $100M Campaign to Accelerate. This bold and innovative fundraising initiative aims to accelerate T1D research to move beyond insulin, build upon a long legacy of outstanding Canadian diabetes research, and accelerate towards cures while also improving the lives of those living with T1D.

“Lots of children are afraid of monsters, but only some have actually experienced one – like my son. He lives with type 1 diabetes, a relentless monster that is always there, ready to pounce – whether he is enjoying a snack or playing with friends. We must constantly be on high alert. The Campaign to Accelerate is putting a multi-faceted plan in place that can attack this monster from every angle, and we are inviting all Canadians to help us in accelerating the pace of type 1 diabetes research.”

 Ryan MacDonald, Campaign to Accelerate, Campaign Co-Chair.

The Campaign to Accelerate will focus on six key pillars that aim to help improve the quality of life for people living with T1D today and create a future without type 1 diabetes.

  • The JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes – by accelerating the pace of Canadian T1D research breakthroughs
  • High-Impact Global Research – collaborating with researchers across the globe on research trials and projects
  • JDRF Centre of Excellence at the University of British Columbia – launching the first JDRF Centre of Excellence in Canada, focused on cure research
  • The T1D Fund – promoting investment in commercial development of new T1D drugs and devices through venture philanthropy
  • #AccessForAll – advocating with Canadians living with T1D to ensure more access to affordable and lifesaving technology 
  • Mental Health – expanding mental health supports for those living with T1D

“The launch of our $100M Campaign to Accelerate is monumental in the lives of Canadians living with type 1 diabetes. While the discovery of insulin in Canada 100 years ago saved millions of lives, it is still not a cure. It is fitting that now is the time to map out the next era of discovery in type 1 diabetes research. Through our Campaign to Accelerate, we will transform our approach to research, redesigning it for speed to give Canadians hope for freedom from type 1 diabetes.”

 Dave Prowten, President and CEO, JDRF Canada.

The Campaign to Accelerate will rally volunteers from coast to coast to invest $100 million over the next five years to bring life-changing therapies to patients and families faster and ensure that Canadians living with T1D have better access to lifesaving technology and mental health support.

“As a parent of a 40-year-old daughter living with type 1 diabetes, there is nothing harder than watching your child struggle with this relentless monster that requires multiple, daily injections just to temporarily fend it off. One hundred years ago, we found a way to tame this monster with the discovery of insulin. Now it is time for us to defeat it for good and the Campaign to Accelerate, coupled with philanthropic support from Canadians, will get us there quicker.”

 Peter Oliver, Campaign to Accelerate, Campaign Co-Chair

To learn more about the $100M Campaign to Accelerate, visit

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