Friends unite for diabetes cure
Carol Emer of Highland Park (from left), and Nancy Gottlieb Bauer of Northbrook, Friends United for Juvenile Diabetes Research gala co-chairs; Susan Mandell of Highland Park, founder and co-president; and Pam Spritz of Northbrook | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times
Updated: December 30, 2012 6:01AM
The Event: November was American Diabetes Awareness Month and so it was fitting that on Nov. 3, 300 Friends United for Juvenile Diabetes Research got together for “The Voice for the Cure” benefit at Resolution Digital Studios in Chicago.
What began as a grassroots movement some 13 years ago by Susan Mandell, a mom of a child with diabetes, has evolved into an organization that has raised more than $1 million in support of vital research at institutions like the Mayo Clinic and Harvard University Medical School.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million people (or 8.3 percent of the population) in the United States have diabetes, and an estimated 79 million more are pre-diabetic.
Cause célèbre: Ryan Baker, CBS 2’s lead sports anchor, served as evening’s emcee. “Anything that I can do to help to find a cure or to raise funds to make life better for those dealing with diabetes, I’m on board,” said Baker both of whose parents have the disease.
“People who have diabetes look normal — they don’t have tubes sticking out of them — but taking care of yourself on a daily basis is 24/7. It never stops,” said Mandell.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, whose son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age 2, came out to show her support. “This group has done so much to raise funds for important research towards eradicating this devastating disease (and) to provide support within our community for the many families who are facing the daily challenges,” said Rotering.
The Bottom Line: The event raised $160,000 dollars of which 50 percent will go to support research at the University of Chicago’s Kovler Diabetes Center, and the remainder will go to other research programs nationwide.