Diabetes affects more than 9 percent of people in the United States, and its prevalence is growing.
There are various different forms of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common, and is considered a preventable lifestyle condition, although there is a genetic component. Type 2 is most common in adults, but an increasing number of children are being diagnosed with it, too. Less than 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes, which is thought to be an autoimmune disease and is often diagnosed in childhood.
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be controlled with medication and lifestyle choices. All people with type 1, and many with type 2, are insulin dependent, and must take injections daily to help manage their blood sugar. For people of all ages, life with diabetes can be a challenge.
Fortunately, there are many organizations dedicated to helping people diagnosed with this condition, as well as their families and the medical professionals who treat them. Having taken a thorough look the landscape, we’ve identified the six non-profits who are doing the most incredible job at spreading awareness about the condition, raising funds to support research aimed at defeating it, and connecting people who have diabetes with the experts and resources they need. They are game changers in health, and we salute them.
The Children’s Diabetes Foundation was established in 1977 to support research and families living with type 1 diabetes. The organization has contributed more than $100 million to the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, which supports families, provides clinical services to people with type 1 diabetes, and supports scientific research. You can connect with the organization on Twitter or Facebook; their blog profiles patients living with type 1 diabetes.
The diaTribe Foundation was created to “improve the lives of people living with diabetes and prediabetes.” It is an informational website, providing medication and device reviews, diabetes-related news, case studies, personal blogs from diabetes professionals and patients, tips and “hacks” for living with diabetes, and interviews with experts in the field. The site caters to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and is truly a one-stop resource.
Created in 2008, Diabetes Sisters is a support group specifically for women living with diabetes. More than just a website, the organization offers webinars, blogs, advice, and local events to get women the help and support they need. The group makes it easy for women to get involved and collaborate with one another so that they can “engage,” “unite,” and “empower” — three tenets of the organization’s mission.
Some organizations focus on diabetes the disease, but the Diabetes Hands Foundation focuses on the people affected by it. Their goal, among other things, is to create bonds between people living with diabetes and to ensure that no one touched by it feels alone. The organization has three main programs: The Communities (TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes for Spanish speakers), The Big Blue Test which promotes healthy lifestyle management, and Diabetes Advocates, a platform to help connect people with diabetes and leaders within the community.
The American Diabetes Association is probably the most recognized diabetes nonprofit, and having been around for 75 years, it’s no surprise. The organization funds research, provides service to people with diabetes in the community, provides educational and informational support, and supports the rights of people with diabetes. Their website serves as a vast portal with everything from diabetes statistics to recipes and lifestyle advice.
Formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF is the largest worldwide nonprofit funding research for type 1 diabetes. Their ultimate goal: to aid in the cure for type 1 diabetes. More than teaching people to manage the disease, they’d like to see people with the condition cured, something that has yet to be achieved. To date, they’ve funded $2 billion in diabetes research.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects a large percentage of the worldwide population. Many people are living every day of their lives with diabetes management as a top concern. Nonprofits like those listed here are putting in time and effort to support these people and the scientists researching better treatments and perhaps one day a cure.