T.G.I.F. (Thanking Great Individuals Forever)

Do you know this woman?  Probably not, but you should. 

Her son, Larry, was diagnosed with T1 diabetes in 1966 at age 9.  Long before pumps, meters, and CGMs were in use, this mom had to manage a disease called T1 diabetes with tools that by today’s standards are archaic at best.   She is a mom.  

In 1970 she created something that has impacted the world, and yet, few people know who she is.  Before the Walk to Cure Diabetes, the rides, the Congressional meetings with kids, the chapters, the meetings, it was merely a matter of being somewhat educated and prodding forward. 

To this woman, THAT was not good enough. 

This human dynamo spent countless hours on the phone reaching out….connecting.  Lord knows what would have happened in 1970 if she had all of the resources we have today to communicate with the world.

What she created was The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (now the JDRF). Now with 115 United States Chapters; affiliates in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Israel, India, and the UK; and tens of thousands of volunteers (oh those wonderful volunteers); what started as a dream at a kitchen table has grown into a worldwide leader in funding research and with their recent changes; will now also fund advances in managing diabetes.

To those who don’t think they can make a difference need only to just examine this woman’s dream.  She surely added many helpers along the way but it was hers to get started and isn’t this world so much better off now that she did?  Her name is Lee Ducat and she is Diabetesdad’s  T.G.I.F.   Take a bow Lee…..and thanks.

One reply on “T.G.I.F. (Thanking Great Individuals Forever)”

Lee Ducat is a wonderful resource; I conducted an online chat with her a number of years ago on Deb Butterfield’s and she was as passionate then as she was in the early 70s when the JDF (it was known as the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, without the word “research” in those days). dLife did a nice segment with her, along with Carol Lurie (another JDRF founder) which can be viewed on YouTube, see for that clip. Lee has since gone on to other initiatives, including National Disease Research Interchange (NRDI) [see for more on that] but she’s still as eloquent about JDRF as always and its a great ambassador for the organization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *