My second part of my summary for the Roche Social Media Summit 2011 is going to be about the JDRF. My history with the JDRF is long and in a good standing relationship. I have volunteered a lot of my time with the local JDRF chapter and have donated a fair amount of money. When I was doing consulting as a full time gig, I was donating 10% of all of my contract service fees to JDRF and anywhere from 20-50% of my affiliate commissions to JDRF. I still do the same, I just don’t do as much contract work as I once did last year. Recently, I had started to wonder if I was donating to the right place, maybe I should be sending it to the DRI instead. I am very comfortable with my local chapter, but the national, ehh, I just wasn’t feeling it.
So when I heard that Jeffrey Brewer was going to be speaking to us at our lunch on Thursday, I was like…. whatttt??!!?? The President of the JDRF is going to be here, speaking to us? Awesome. I was so excited to hear what he had to say. I know that a lot of the time, speeches are scripted, and that is fine, because if you follow through on what you say, then it’s all good, if you don’t, well than you will obviously be held accountable then.
There were a lot of great things that Jeffrey touched on, but I wanted to just get into a few. One was the fact that he mentioned they are re-branding themselves strictly as, JDRF, and not the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. What does this mean? It means shedding the “Juvenile” part and focusing on Type 1 diabetes, and not just the Juvenile. Don’t get me wrong, I want to make sure the kids are well taken care of, and like Trick Daddy says, “Love the kids”. This shows me that they will be looking at the needs of type 1’s overall and not just “juvenile”, so I feel that they will be able to reach a further demographic, primarily, adults with type 1. This is the area that they have been lacking and has left me wondering what the organization was doing directly for me.
The quote that stuck with me the most out of his entire time speaking was, “I’m all for a cure, but let’s do something about this now.” I couldn’t agree with this more. I always felt that the JDRF was focused on the cure, but didn’t focus much time on living with the disease and doing things to help during the time before a cure is found. I’m living with this disease today, tomorrow and the next day, so I want things to be better for me now, and I hope and pray for a cure when it comes. That quote made me gain a lot of respect for Mr. Brewer.
The other reason that I trust Jeff Brewer and his talking points is the fact that he came right out and said that he has a child with type 1 diabetes, but also that he made a lot of money in technology at an early stage of his life, so this isn’t about money for him, it’s all about the end results.
So, to end this post, let’s discuss what you can do now. Reach out to your local JDRF chapter. Let them know what items you would like to see them do more of. But don’t just demand, offer to help with these items. Offer to come up with the ideas, and plan, and volunteer and do what you have to do in order to get these tasks done. I recently e-mailed my local chapter and asked for a list of dates of all of their events for 2012 and am waiting on the same list from the local ADA chapter and if there are any large events on the same day, then I am going to bring that to their attention (if they don’t already know).
Just remember, do what you can today to create an Outrage for Diabetes. This isn’t just an IDF motto, this is for all diabetes related items. It’s time to fight back against diabetes.