JDRF, and The World, Loses a POWERHOUSE. A Tribute.

Carol and Jim IrwinWhen I was a staff person at what was then called the JDF (didn’t know that did you?) I was at a meeting and the woman at the microphone said with that incredible smile; “Lock the doors because no one is getting out until they commit to this.”

That woman was Dame Carol Lurie.  Last night, quietly in her sleep I am informed, the world lost probably the most influential person in making what the JDRF has become to the world today.  She would dispute that, of course, and give the credit elsewhere.

She was strong and the many times I have referred to her and Lee Ducat when I lecture, it is always to show the power of what two moms could do in a world, where they believed; that diabetes just would not do.

I left the JDF, she stayed.  I went to the DRI and it was years later that my son was also diagnosed when I opened  my mail to a note that simply said that although we are on separate paths, our goals would always be the same; our kids.  And I’ll never forget how she signed it, “…see you at the finish line.—C.L.”

She and her husband, Erwin (who also passed a while back), were powerhouses in this world of diabetes.  Long before the internet, social media, and electronic outreach; Carol somehow found a way to connect the corners of the earth as one diabetes voice.  And the voices rose.  The voices were heard.  And changes happened.

So when you think that nothing can get done or be done in this world anymore; think of Dame Carol Lurie–or ‘just-a-mom’ Carol Lurie as she would say.  A mom who just believed that in this world, under her watch, diabetes will just not do.

It is my thought that she and Erwin are in black tie & gown behind the pearly gates dancing together and half way through the evening, she may very well speak to all of the angels and say, “Close those gates and no one leaves until we figure out a way to significantly help those who I have left behind.”  …..and her legacy will continue on.

See you at the finish line my friend.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

9 replies on “JDRF, and The World, Loses a POWERHOUSE. A Tribute.”

Wow! As a past JDRFer I also heard her, and other members of her family over the years. You’re right – she was indeed a Powerhouse! Great post from you, Diabetes Dad.

Dear Tom,my buddy from JDRF,
I wept in my office today when Don Aron told me the news of Carol’s passing. I wept for her leaving us but mostly because we did not cross that finish line while she was alive. Keep fighting the good fight.
Kathy Knott

My dear friend of a life time ago….I am in to end it until we do.
Hugs—as u saw…my son also now has T1—fate is an interesting bedfellow. I remember our discussions and do miss you.
Regards always,

Carol was an awesome, powerful and loving woman who was loved by my wife and me. She is the reason we got involved with JDF back in the mid-70’s… she shed tears in our living room when she met our son shortly after he was diagnosed with diabetes at 2 years of age. Her capacity to inspire and encourage with words, tears and deeds set the tone and example of what was expected from others in our journey to a cure for diabetes. Each year when we met at annual conferences – despite having a long list of things to do and places to be – she always stopped in her tracks or would change course to meet and greet other parents with a smile – hug – kiss and ask how are the kids. You can bet she is taking the lead right now in what ever follows this life to muster forces on behalf our our goal: a CURE for diabetes. Rest in Peace Carol… (yet somehow the concept of Carol resting is hard to picture!)

Hi Tom,

You may not remember me but I worked in the NYC Chapter and our paths crossed a few times over the years. I was so glad to come across your post (someone else posted in on FB) but very, very sad to hear the news.

Carol was such a wonderful lady and she will be missed dearly by everyone. I have many fond memories of her and think of her often. She was a force to be reckoned with yet also was the sweetest, most thoughtful woman I’ve known. Her impact on JDRF is immeasurable and my hope is that her work will live on for many years to come.

Dina Anello

Such a heartfelt moving post.
Thank God for Carols life and all she did and I’m sure that from wherever she is right now she will keep inspiring people all over the world to reach that finish line.

Although I don’t vividly remember Carol, I do have incredibly distinct memories of Lee Ducat. Lee’s embracing of my parents in the late 70s and her unwavering commitment to “A Cure”, not only shaped my family’s dedication to then JDF, but had a profound influence on me and my own adult involvement in JDRF.
You absolutely nailed when you describe how this was long before the internet and social media. What these families started is truly awe inspiring and motivating to anyone ever touched by this disease.

Great post! xo

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