In recognition of World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2021, TOPP Foundation, a local type 1 diabetes (T1D) nonprofit, made a $20,000 donation to the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI). All donations to DRI go directly towards innovative medical research aimed at curing type 1 diabetes.
“This $20,000 donation is the third consecutive year we have donated to the Diabetes Research Institute. Despite COVID-19 and being unable to fundraise like previous years, TOPP remains dedicated to its partnership with the DRI and their commitment to cure Type 1 Diabetes. Thanks to our generous supporters, we are proud that our total endowment to the DRI since 2019 is now $90,000 and is goes directly to curing type 1 diabetes. We are grateful our donation will help fund viable research and we thank the DRI for making significant progress in helping to cure type 1 diabetes.” -Christine Gunsiorowski, TOPP Foundation Co-Founder & President.
Tom Karlya, Senior Vice President for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, and a parent to two children living with type 1 diabetes, stated; “In as much as we are so grateful to those in the TOPP Foundation, equally rewarding is watching this relationship grow. These are a group of parents that are in their community outreaching, teaching, helping those living with type one diabetes. Them tending to the caring of today and looking to the Diabetes Research Institute for the cure to come, makes a great partnership. We cherish it.”
Due to COVID-19, this donation to the DRI is smaller than in years past since both of their big annual fundraisers, Designer Bag Bingo and Cocktails for a Cure, were canceled in 2021 for the second year in a row due to COVID-19. TOPP is hopeful to be able to resume these popular fundraising events in 2022. TOPP raised the money for this donation in part by small fundraisers throughout the last year and a Trivia Night fundraiser that this past October.
TOPP Foundation (Type One Parent Project), is a local nonprofit founded in 2016 by three mothers who each have a son with Type One Diabetes. TOPP’s mission is to bring families together to support each other and to raise awareness and funds to accelerate research that leads to a cure. TOPP supports the T1D community in multiple ways. TOPP offers a monthly T1D parent support group, hosts family friendly social events for families living with T1D, organizes monthly luncheons, and holds successful fundraising campaigns twice a year. Additionally, in 2018, the organization created the TOPP Camp Scholarship Program. This program enhances the quality of life for youth living with the daily challenges of T1D by providing financial assistance to parents who would like their children to experience the joy of overnight summer camp.
As of today, TOPP has donated a total of $138,000 directly to cure research. These funds have gone to the Diabetes Research Institute and to JDRF’s Fund a Cure Program. For information about TOPP Foundation, visit www.toppfoundation.org or email [email protected].
About the Diabetes Research Institute
The Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine leads the world in cure-focused research. As one of the largest and most comprehensive research centers dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to develop a biological cure by restoring natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels without imposing other risks. Researchers have already shown that transplanted islet cells allow patients to live without the need for insulin therapy. Some study participants have maintained insulin independence for more than 10 years. The DRI is building upon these promising outcomes through its BioHub strategy, a multidisciplinary, three-pronged approach for addressing the major challenges that stand in the way of a cure: eliminate the need for anti-rejection drugs, reset the immune system to block autoimmunity, and develop an unlimited supply of insulin-producing cells. For more information, please visit DiabetesResearch.org.
Type 1 Diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that enables people to get energy from food and is essential to survival. Although the names are similar, it is a vastly different disease then the more common type 2 diabetes. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it. Despite active research, type 1 diabetes currently has no cure. T1D strikes both children and adults at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications.