On November 30, 2022, in recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month, TOPP Foundation, a local type 1 diabetes (T1D) nonprofit, made a $10,000 donation to the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI). “This is the fourth consecutive year we have donated to the DRI. Since all donations to the DRI go directly towards research aimed at curing type 1 diabetes, our donation of $10,000 will help in the search for a cure. Due to our generous supporters, our total endowment to the DRI since 2019 is now $100,000! We are proud that these funds have gone directly to cure research and we thank everyone who has supported our small nonprofit since 2016.” – Christine Gunsiorowski, TOPP Foundation Co-Founder & President.

Tom Karlya, Senior Vice President for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, stated; “We cherish the partnership we have with TOPP Foundation, and being a father to two children living with T1D, it is so personally special to me that 3 moms started this organization to help fund a cure. The big news this year was surely the first drug approved as a disease-modifying therapy for type 1 diabetes. The DRI participated in the studies for this drug (teplizumab) and continues to be involved in multiple studies in this space. It is due to individuals and groups like TOPP Foundation, that our work can continue, and we will not stop until that cure is found.”

TOPP Foundation (Type One Parent Project) is a nonprofit founded in 2016. TOPP’s mission is to raise awareness of the disease and to support local families living with the daily challenges of T1D. Since 2016, TOPP has held monthly T1D parent meetups and hosted many social events for T1D families. In 2018, the organization created the TOPP Camp Scholarship Program. This program enhances the quality of life for youth living with T1D by providing financial assistance to attend specialized overnight diabetes camps. Additionally, in 2022, TOPP Foundation’s Higher Education Scholarship was launched to provide financial assistance to local high school seniors with T1D who are pursuing higher education at a two-or four-year college/university, trade, or vocational school. These scholarships recognize the hard work, strength, and resilience these students display every day as they cope with a relentless chronic illness. As of today, TOPP has donated a total of $148,000 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 or if you would like to make a donation, please visit or email [email protected].

The Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is 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.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells 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 than the more common type 2 diabetes. T1D has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. It causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D and—at present—there is no cure. T1D strikes both children and adults at any age and symptoms can develop in a few weeks or months and can be severe. Seek medical care if you or your child are experiencing any combination of the following symptoms: excessive thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, weight loss, headaches, blurry vision, and fatigue. If a diagnosis is delayed, untreated T1D can be life-threatening.

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