JoinLeeNow Fundraising Update
The content for this column is provided by the Iacocca Foundation
The JoinLeeNow campaign was launched by the Iacocca Foundation, in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to fund clinical trials of a potential cure for type 1 diabetes. The trials are based on the work of Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, of the Harvard Medical School and MGH who has reversed and permanently cured type 1 diabetes in mice. The goal of the JoinLeeNow campaign is to raise the $11 million needed for the first three years of the research program to bring this potential treatment to humans.
As of March 2005, over $2 million has been raised for this research. The Iacocca Foundation has received more than 4,000 letters and checks since launching the campaign. In addition to Lee Iacocca’s initial $1 million challenge grant, JoinLeeNow has seen an immensely positive response from the public across the nation. All funds from the campaign go directly to Dr. Faustman for this research, and all expenses are underwritten by the Iacocca Family Foundation.
Highlights From JoinLeeNow Supporters
With the help of our terrific volunteers, we are well on our way to reaching our goal. To highlight just a few supporters across the country:
Thirteen-year-old Shelby Sprung from New Jersey, whose sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, asked for donations from friends and family who were celebrating her Bat Mitzvah. She was able to raise and donate more than $15,000.
Rhode Island resident Karl Smith, Jr., who has been using insulin for an amazing 82 years, sent in his check and wished Dr. Faustman luck. He received his first injection in December 1922, and has been using insulin longer than anyone in the world. He still plays golf and tennis and rides a motorcycle.
Christina Smith of Missouri will host the Bling Bling Fundraising Ball for Diabetes on April 2. The event will include a silent auction and special presentations by Dr. Faustman and Mr. Iacocca. For more information, call (660) 582-5958.
Jackie Fusco and Susan Root of Connecticut have been working for more than a year to raise awareness and funds for the human clinical trials. In September of 2004, the Fusco and Root families launched 200 Miles for Human Trials, a bike ride from Stamford, Connecticut, to the MGH research lab in Boston. The three-and-a-half-day bike adventure raised more than $145,000. Their September 2005 bike ride will include participants from surrounding New England states. Riders will converge at the MGH research lab as their final destination. For more information, visit www.200milesforhumantrials.com.
We are grateful to all of our volunteers for their outstanding work. Currently, we have volunteer groups forming in many states. For information on helping with local efforts to raise money for these trials, or if you have other inquiries, please contact Danielle Briscoe at (212) 255-5340 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also thankful to our partners, the MGH Cure Diabetes Now Fund (Charlestown, Massachusetts) and Reach for the Cure Foundation (Palm Dale, California), a West Coast-based organization working to raise $1 million for these trials.
How Can I Help?
The cost of the first three years of clinical trials at MGH is estimated at $11 million. Your help is needed to secure funding to take this potential therapy to human testing. Contribute to the JoinLeeNow campaign and support these efforts to find a cure for type 1 diabetes in humans.
Donations may be made over the Internet or by mail.
Internet: To make a donation over the Internet, please visit www.JoinLeeNow.org and click on “Donate Now.”
Mail: To mail your donation, please make checks payable to “Iacocca Foundation” and write “JoinLeeNow” in the subject line. Send all donations to:
The Iacocca Foundation
17 Arlington Street
Boston, MA 02116