JDRF is the leading global organization, working on breakthroughs for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) as well as advocating for and supporting those living with T1D. In Colorado, much of the life-changing research JDRF is backing is taking place at the Barbara Davis Center, which is also home to world-class care and treatment innovation.

Working with the JDRF Mountain West Chapter (Colorado, Wyoming & Utah)  provided a fascinating looking into the incredible work being done to prevent, delay, and ultimately cure this autoimmune disease. T1D usually starts in childhood; however, adults can get it too.

I enjoyed getting to know a very courageous and kind young girl named Sophia who was diagnosed at the age of 8. Immediately after her diagnosis, Sophia joined the PROTECT Study is which she received the drug Tepluzimab to see if it can keep the cells that make insulin around for a longer period of time.   Three years later, Sophia is still on a insulin dose that is much smaller than other people living with T1D

Is Tepluzimab (which is also now known as Telzied) the “dream drug?” We focused on that and other T1D advances in the Fund a Cure video for the Dream Gala:

Dr. Peter Gottlieb is an endocrinologist whose life’s purpose is to better the lives of those living with T1D and ultimately find a cure (two of his children have T1D). He has spent the last ten years on a research trial for Tepluzimab… this time, it was to confirm that it could altogether delay the onset of T1D.

When Erik Aeling was 5 years old, his older sister was diagnosed with T1D. Through her diagnosis, Erik was tested and it was determined that he had four of the five antibodies which signal diabetes is advancing.  He started daily infusions of Tepluzimab (again, known commercially as Tzield) for two weeks in 2016, which led to six years of living without T1D ever developing.

“All the auto antibodies just disappeared,” Erik’s mother Laura Aeling said. “They then came back later… but it was a slow progression and as a result, but now he’s going to receive a second Tzield infusion and delay it further and for who knows how long.”

In November 2022, the Federal Drug Administration validated the findings of Dr. Gottleib’s research and approved Tzield as the first drug to delay the progression of Type One Diabetes.

“Tzield is now the first drug that’s been approved since insulin to really affect the disease process in Type 1,” Dr. Gottlieb said.

Kyle Dyer Storytelling produced a video story on Dr. Peter Gottlieb as he was honored as the Mission Chair at the 2023 Dream Gala.

Prior to the Dream Gala, we produced a short video to promote the event. One of the themes of the fundraiser was the question.. “What is your T1D Dream?”

And then, after the very successful event, Kyle Dyer Storytelling produced a “thank you” video that JDRF then shared with it’s supporters: