Page 1


Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

Fall 2011 / Volume 39 / Issue 1 Miami / New York / Long Island / California / Washington, D.C.

Join us on social media!


DIABETES RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOUNDATION’S SOLE FOCUS ON A CURE AT HEART OF “REASON TO BELIEVE” On November 1st, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation launched its “Reason to Believe” campaign, giving those with diabetes and their families continued hope for a cure. Kicking off National Diabetes Awareness Month, Reason to Believe, or r2b, emphasizes our singular focus on curing diabetes and unique research philosophy while raising critical funds for the DRI. The Reason to Believe story is told through a series of videos that can be viewed at Parents like Jenn and Jared Tacher of Pembroke Pines, FL, whose 3-year-old son, Jace, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just over a year ago, believe that one day he will be free from the burdens of this disease. “I just look into my son’s eyes and I see a story of hope, and the DRI has been a provider of that because I see the research that they do,” says Jenn. “I definitely, definitely have a reason to believe. There is hope; there’s definitely so much work being done to help those who suffer.” The discovery of a biological cure – restoring natural insulin production to normalize blood sugar levels – would free patients from the daily demands of this disease. The DRI and Continued on Page 6

Building upon their preliminary work with mesenchymal stem cells, the DRI’s Dr. Norma Kenyon and Dr. Amelia Bartholomew from the University of Illinois/Chicago have been awarded a major, multi-center grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance their work with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to improve transplant acceptance. The five-year grant will focus on the effects of MSCs in the settings of cellular and kidney transplantation. Dr. Kenyon and Dr. Bartholomew are long-time collaborators in the use of MSCs to improve transplant acceptance and long term function. This is their second collaborative grant and follows their findings published in the journal Diabetes last fall. Continued on Page 11

A New Chairman

Her Generous Heart

Major NIH Grant

Tune in to Lifetime

Stem Cell-ebrity

Harold Doran of Kentucky will lead the National Board of Directors.

Longtime supporter Shirley Harris recently made a multi-million dollar planned gift.

DRI’s Dr. Norma Kenyon is awarded a multicenter NIH grant.

Danielle Knox of The Balancing Act hosts DRI segments and more during Diabetes Awareness Month!

DRI’s Dr. Juan Dominguez-Bendala is Under the Microscope.

> Article on page 2

> Article on page 4

> Article on page 1 & 11

> Article on pages 12

> Article on page 9

A Message

from the Chairman Dear Friends, I am honored to serve as the new chairman of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s National Board of Directors and look forward to working with our outstanding leadership, volunteers, faculty and staff as we continue to pursue a cure for diabetes. Finding a cure became my personal mission almost two decades ago when my son, Will, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 2. Like so many other families, my wife, Kelly, and I searched for an organization that demonstrated the same urgency and commitment to this mission that we have. We found this and more at the DRI, where world-class scientists are at the forefront of diabetes research. The progress they’ve made has been nothing short of extraordinary, as evidenced by the accomplishments reported in this issue of DRIfocus, including the major National Institute of Health grant awarded to Dr. Norma Kenyon and collaborators (page 11), the progress of our stem cell development team, as summarized by Dr. Juan Dominguez-Bendala (page 9), and more. I have a Reason to Believe in a cure for Will and millions of other children and adults living with diabetes. That’s why I’m particularly proud to introduce our new Reason to Believe campaign that was launched on November 1st. As you read in the cover story, parents, patients and researchers alike have a Reason to Believe in a cure thanks to the advancements being made at DRI. We invite you to hear their stories at and find your reason to believe as well. You can help us reach our goal faster by supporting the DRI’s cure-focused research initiatives with either an online donation or through the mail.

We are grateful for the many generous donors whose significant contributions are helping to accelerate progress. People like Shirley Harris (page 4), who is one of the Foundation’s most enthusiastic supporters, has committed an exceptional legacy gift of $3 million. Shirley’s longtime support of the DRI is an example for others to follow. The Donaldson family became involved with the DRI to help find a cure for Matthew, 6, who was diagnosed at age 3. Their generous contributions and passionate involvement is making a huge difference for us (page 6). As a result of their commitment, the DRI was named the beneficiary of the successful Donaldson Organization Golf Outing this year. Several other major contributors recently received their Cycle of Discovery Award (page 8) in recognition of their generosity. Numerous events, like DAD’s Day, The Crystal Ball and so many others offer an important and steady stream of revenue. Corporate support from companies like Walgreens in Florida, under the leadership of Market Vice President Roy Ripak, is providing significant funding for our research. On behalf of the DRI and Foundation, I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to help the DRI in some way, large or small. We hope we can count on your ongoing support that gives all of us a Reason to Believe. Sincerely,

Harold Doran Chairman of the Board

HAROLD DORAN ELECTED NATIONAL BOARD CHAIRMAN The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Harold G. Doran, Jr., as chairman of the National Board of Directors. Serving on the National Board since 2005, he previously held the position of treasurer, chaired the finance committee and chairs the planned giving committee. A veteran of the banking industry, Harold has more than 30 years of experience. Though retired, he continues to serve on several corporate and philanthropic boards and is a strong supporter of his community. Harold served as president and chief executive officer of The Peoples Bank of Murray in Murray, KY, from 1988 to 2000 and started his career there in 1977. He currently serves on several boards of directors, including Investors Heritage Capital Corporation, Investors Heritage Life Insurance Co., Murray State University Foundation and the Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation.

Additionally, he has held various leadership positions with several organizations, including chairman of the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority and the Bank of Lyon County; president of the Murray State University Alumni Association and the Four Rivers Scout Council(BSA); vice chairman of the Dees Bank of Hazel; director of the Bank of Livingston County, KY trustee of the National Scouting Museum (BSA); and member of the Leadership Kentucky Class 1988. Harold received a Bachelor of Science in Business at Murray State University in 1975 and earned a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1977. He is married to Kelly Williams Doran, a retired mathematics instructor at Murray State University. The couple has two children, Sarah and Will, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1994 at the age of 2.




The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of one new officer to the National Board and three new members to regional boards. William (Bill) Fishlinger of Manhasset, NY, has been elected to treasurer of the National Board, which he joined in 2008. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of Wright Risk Management Company, Inc., along with the newly formed WRM Holdings and is also the senior partner and president of the law firm of Congdon, Flaherty, O'Callaghan, Reid, Donlon, Travis & Fishlinger. Bill has been recognized for the creation of some of the most innovative and successful risk financing vehicles and has lectured extensively. A graduate of St. John's University School of Law and the State University of Maryland, he also served in the United States Air Force. Completely committed to a cure, Bill serves on the National Board’s Finance Committee and on the Long Island Regional Board, where he is a member of the Executive Committee. Bill and his wife, Joan, acted as chairs of the Crystal Ball in 2006 and 2007 and were honored at the 2011 event as the first recipients of the Distinguished Service Award. Together, they established the Future Leadership Foundation, whose mission is to control, prevent and cure juvenile diabetes and other conditions that threaten the future of young people. They have a son, Matt, and a daughter, Ali, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 6.



1. William Fishlinger, 2. Jenna Dorn, 3. Lindsey Inserra, 4. Bruce Siegel.

Northeast Board member Jennifer (Jenna) Dorn became chief executive officer of the American Academy of Physician Assistants in Alexandria, VA, on October 31st. Just prior, Jenna was senior fellow at Washington, D.C.’s Potomac Research Group.  Prior to that, Jenna was president and chief executive officer of D.C.’s National Academy of Public Administration, where, among other accomplishments, she led a $10 million annual revenue organization to profitability for the first time in five years. Previously, Jenna served as the U.S. representative on the International Board of Directors of The World Bank. Jenna was appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to oversee $20 billion annually in loans and grants and to give policy advice, technical assistance and knowledge-sharing services to some 100 low- and middle-income countries. She earned a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Oregon State University. Northeast Board member Lindsey Inserra is a

NEW STAFF MEMBER IN THE NORTHEAST The DRI Foundation is pleased to welcome Amy Epstein as director of Special Events for the Northeast regional office. She comes to us after eight years at The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Metro New York, six of which were spent as the manager of Special Events and Development. In this capacity, Amy planned and facilitated many different types of events, including their annual gala, numerous golf outings and many other diverse activities. She has strong expertise in all phases of fundraising, communication, volunteer management and production, while fostering and cultivating corporate, foundation and individual donors. Before Make-A-Wish®, Amy was a production manager on various event teams for companies in and around NYC and worked as a stage manager and as a casting associate in DC and NYC. Born and raised in Maryland, Amy received both her BA and Masters at American University in Washington, DC. She currently resides in West Orange, NJ, with her husband, Steve, and is “tremendously excited to be working with the DRI Foundation because of its cure-focused mission.”

Social Worker at Hoboken University Medical Center, a recent graduate of New York University’s Silver School of Social Work and has volunteered and worked in the field of mental health for the last eight years. In 2009, Lindsey became a founding member of Act1 Diabetes (Adults Coping with Type 1 Diabetes), which provides services to the adult diabetes community. Lindsey also works closely with her parents, Bonnie Inserra and Larry Inserra, Jr., to determine the philanthropic direction of The Inserra Family Foundation and looks forward one day to joining the family business, Inserra Supermarkets. Lindsey’s true passion is her work with the DRI, which has been a part of her life since she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11. Since her first experience there, she has felt it to be a place of hope. After years of observing her mother’s fundraising efforts on the DRI’s behalf, Lindsey joined the Young Professionals Committee of the DRI Foundation and presently serves as chair, helping to plan and sponsor events aimed at a new generation of DRI supporters. Long Island Board member Bruce Siegel is executive vice president and general counsel of First Long Island Investors, LLC. He began his career as an attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Bruce worked in private practice with a New York City law firm, was assistant general counsel for a public company and managed the Partnership Review Group for Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith. Bruce graduated from Cornell University in 1970 and received a J.D. degree from New York University Law School in 1974. Bruce lives in Manhattan with his wife, Rachel. They have a son, Jason, 30, and a daughter, Sara, 27, who has type 1. The family is truly dedicated to finding a cure for Sara and the millions of other families dealing with diabetes.

3 |

Shirley Harris will serve as the Grand Humanitarian at the 2012 Love and Hope Ball in recognition of her generous legacy gift.


Shirley Harris, one of the Diabetes Research Institute’s most enthusiastic supporters, reconfirmed her commitment to the organization with an extraordinary legacy gift of $3 million. This gift will help to ensure that research to find a cure for diabetes will continue beyond her lifetime.

“The DRI Foundation is proud to recognize and express our gratitude to Shirley Harris for her devotion to supporting a biological, universal cure for diabetes,” said Robert A. Pearlman, president and CEO. “In honor of her vision and generosity, we have dedicated the Shirley Harris Administrative Pavilion at the DRI and installed a permanent tribute to her in the lobby of the DRI. Shirley’s magnificent gift will serve as a legacy to her generosity and a reminder to all who have the pleasure of knowing her.” Shirley is one of the earliest members of the DRI Heritage Society, which recognizes those who have provided for the DRI Foundation in their estate plans. With this gift, Shirley joins the Foundation’s prestigious Leadership Council. Originally from New York, Shirley became a South Florida snowbird more than 30 years ago. She first learned of the DRI after her grandson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She called every diabetes organization to gather information about the disease. “After losing my father to diabetes and seeing the challenges my 2-year-old grandson was facing upon being diagnosed, I knew I had to do my part and help find a cure,” she said. Once she heard more about the DRI and its mission, she immediately volunteered to help raise money for the Institute’s work. Soon after, she took a tour of the DRI facility and met all of the scientists who explained the research under way toward a cure. Shirley started collecting contributions on street corners during the DRI Foundation’s legendary “Hi-Way Holdup” event. She

wanted to do much more and became involved with Love and Hope, first attending the Preview Party and Ball, and then being recognized as the Love Honoree, the Hope Honoree and twice as the Gold Star. Shirley has made dear friends through Love and Hope and enjoys socializing with members of the committee. She will receive their highest honor at the upcoming event on February 18, 2012. “We will be honoring Shirley as the Grand Humanitarian Honoree of the 2012 Love and Hope Ball in recognition of her gift and her decades of philanthropic support,” said Sonja Zuckerman, Life Chairman of the Love and Hope Committee. A self-made businesswoman, Shirley spent her entire career in the retail trade, successfully starting various enterprises. Back in the 1960s, she and her late husband owned the Debbie Shops, a chain of women’s clothing stores in the South. She eventually sold the business to open her own buying office for ladies ready-to-wear clothing, becoming a purchasing representative for Allied Department Stores of Georgia. After 24 years, she retired in 1993. Still dividing her time between New York and Florida, she attends every DRI Foundation event that she can in both states. Shirley speaks her mind with honesty and conviction, and she’ll tell anyone who will listen how important the DRI is to her. She has often said, "There isn't anything I wouldn't do for the DRI." “People have to be alerted to the fact that they can make a meaningful donation in this way and leave their money to their children and to charity,” she said. “You have to give back some of what you’ve got.” Shirley’s philosophy of “lead by example” is one that has defined her life…both in business and in philanthropy. We are proud to call her our friend.


If you have named the DRI Foundation in your will or in your estate plans (such as a retirement plan, life insurance, gift annuity or trust), you are eligible for membership in the DRI Heritage Society. Those who have made planned gifts through the DRI Foundation are the powerful sustaining heartbeat of the DRI’s research programs. By declaring your charitable intentions, you are allowing us to express our gratitude to you while inspiring others to support the Diabetes Research Institute in a similar manner. DRI Heritage Society members are recognized in perpetuity

on a designated Wall of Honor at the Diabetes Research Institute. Members are also presented with a distinctive Heritage Society award and are listed in our annual report. (Requests for anonymity will be honored.) As a token of our appreciation, new members who join the DRI Heritage Society by December 31, 2011 will receive an additional special memento. For more information, please contact Jill Shapiro Miller, vice president of gift planning, at (800) 321-3437.



As always, Diabetes Diplomats aren’t just waiting for a cure, they’re aiming for it! Now in an international effort, students, families and even professional athletes are organizing grassroots projects to be a part of the DRI Foundation’s Reason to Believe (r2b) campaign. These fundraisers kicked off with Diabetes Awareness Month in November and run through the end of the year.

Gaining the most popularity is a school site educational and fundraising program that includes a walkathon, assembly and online fundraising page. Diabetes Diplomats across the United States and even in Canada and Peru are already implementing the program into their own schools and communities. Just as the moniker of Diabetes Diplomats declares, this project enables the student to Be the Hero by playing a central role in these school-based activities. Making it simple for Diabetes Diplomats, the DRI Foundation supplies everything needed to customdesign the program for each school.


1. Lilly Cooper, whose mom is hosting an r2b event, is pictured with Diabetes Dad and DRIF VP Tom Karlya. 2. Joshua Flores created an online fundraising page and participated in a 10K in memory of his father, Moses Flores Junior. 3. In honor of her daughter, Charlotte, Tonya Homme launched Tips4Type1, simultaneously selling nail polish to benefit DRI, and spreading diabetes awareness.

In Elkton, MD, Wendy Cooper has put a spin on the school project by making it age appropriate for her 3-year-old, Lilliana, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 15 months. A Reason to Jump... A Reason to Believe in a Cure! will be held in Newport, DE, on January 17, 2012, at Pump It Up, a gigantic indoor inflatable filled arena. Preschoolers will jump and play to their hearts content while learning about diabetes. Many sponsors, including Animas, LifeScan, Children with Diabetes and Diabetes Health, have also joined the Diabetes Diplomats r2b effort. Even Animas Heroes are signing on to become Diabetes Diplomats. Already committed are: 7-time Ironman triathlon finisher Andy Holder (Iron Andy) of East Norriton, PA; LPGA golfer Kelli Kuehne of Salt Lake City, UT; and PBA bowler Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, NY; plus diabetes bloggers Kerri Sparling (Six Until Me) of Providence, RI; and Wendy Rose (Candy Hearts Blog) of Phoenix, AZ. In Texas, Joshua Flores also has r2b…and a reason to remember. On May 12, 2011, he lost his father with type 2 diabetes, Moses Flores Junior, to an automobile accident. In the final months of his life, Moses had been striving for better health and training for a 5K. Following suit and commemorating his father’s life, Joshua decided to run his first race, the Galveston Sand Crab 10K Nighttime Beach Run, scheduled for August 13, 2011, the day his father would have turned

59. The extreme heat kept more than one third of the participants from completing the Run, so when Josh crossed the finish line near the front of his division, it was that much more inspirational to his friends and family who greeted him with cheers. Appropriately, he was recognized with the Galveston Sand Crab Inspiration Award. In memory of Moses, the celebration continued at Brickhouse Tavern, where Josh thanked his supporters for their donations, which totaled nearly $4,500. In California, Tonya Homme’s r2b has a name – Charlotte. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 23 months, Charlotte is now off to school, and Tonya is busy with a new business called Tips4Type1, which she created in her daughter’s honor. Coupling two shades of nail polish, Tips of Steel and True Blue Hope, Tips4Type1 delivers pretty nails along with diabetes awareness. Charlotte even helps her mom package the orders up and ship them out across the country. Proceeds benefit DRI, and as Tonya said, “It is our hope that not only will we raise money for diabetes research, but also that by wearing these colors we can start conversations that will help educate others about type 1 diabetes.” To purchase yours, visit Jonny Greenwald in Florida stated that it is not enough that moms, dads and people with diabetes choose to do something. He believes siblings can make a difference also. When he was 9 years old his little sister, Lexi, was diagnosed with type 1. Brotherly love has turned into action, and he is creating his own fundraising page to help find a cure for his sister. He invites other siblings to do the same at These are just a few of the individuals and families who have r2b in a cure for diabetes and a reason to be a Diabetes Diplomat. But it’s not too late for you! And it’s as easy as… 1. Contact DRIF VP & Diabetes Dad Tom Karlya at 2. Tell us your r2b and project idea. 3. Work together with us to raise funds and awareness for the DRI!

5 |


business, and one word that sums up what the company is all about – family. At the helm are D. Robert (Bob) Donaldson and son Douglas Donaldson, who serve as chairman and chief operating officer, respectively, and follow in the footsteps of a line of Donaldson fathers and sons. Their family business, which started in 1906, is the title sponsor of a longstanding fundraising event at the elite Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY, that now benefits the Diabetes Research Institute. The Donaldson Organization Golf Outing raised upward of $650,000 for the DRI in 2011. (Read more on page 19.)

Bob Donaldson gives a big grandfather hug to (l-r) Taylor, Ty and Matthew, who has type 1 diabetes.

Throughout New York City and beyond, The Donaldson Organization is synonymous with unparalleled quality and timeless innovation, and has been a part of several highly-noted projects like the renovation of the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Times Tower, the magnificent Resorts World Casino that just opened in Queens, plus Citi Field/New York Mets Stadium, to name a few. It’s one of the largest interior contracting firms in the U.S., but even greater than its body of work are the people at the heart of the

“What made this year really outstanding, beyond the amount of money we raised, was to have my son, his wife and my three grandkids with me,” Bob stated poignantly. All of his efforts are to help find a cure for his middle grandchild, Matthew, who is soon-to-be 7 and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes three years ago. “Matthew helped me give awards to the honorees, and it was a very special moment. Everyone could see and feel what this was all about and why we changed the beneficiary to the DRI.” “My father-in-law is unbelievable. He made this his mission,” said Sheri Donaldson, who is also getting involved with fundraising for the DRI through the Kids Party for a Cure event on Long Island, while her husband, Doug, serves on the DRI Foundation’s Long Island Regional Board and has been involved with the Empire Ball for years. “It took us a while to get back on our feet after Matthew was diagnosed, but since Doug was


Foundation is the only organization solely dedicated to finding a biological cure. DRI researchers have made significant progress, having already demonstrated that insulin independence can be achieved through islet cell transplantation, a procedure in which the insulin-producing cells from a donor pancreas are transplanted into patients with diabetes. Though still experimental, islet transplantation is the most promising method for reversing the disease and has

already involved with the DRI, he immediately knew who to call,” said Sheri, who describes their son, Matthew, in one word, “Unbelievable! Nothing slows him down. He’s a star football player, and he’s pretty easy-going about all of this.” Sheri and Doug’s two other children, Taylor, 9, and Ty, 3, also do their part. Taylor helps take care of Matthew and “understands what the numbers mean,” while for Ty, it’s all he knows of his big brother since Sheri was nearly 9-months pregnant at the time of Matthew’s diagnosis. But the family has a reason to believe that one day the Diabetes Research Institute will find a cure for Matthew and the millions of others living with diabetes. “After you get past the shock, you try to make the best of the situation,” Bob continued. “So, we’re doing what the Donaldson family does; we’re going to work real hard to get a cure.” “Doug has really been spearheading this, and together we dove right in,” he said. The two men traveled to the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami. They toured the labs, spoke with the scientists and were “very impressed with what they saw.” Soon after, they decided to change the beneficiary of their annual golf outing. Clearly a man who doesn’t mince words, Bob stated, “We looked at a bunch of diabetes organizations, and we chose the DRI because we wanted to support a group that was going to find the cure.”

Continued from Page 1

dramatically changed the lives of several patients who have participated in the DRI’s clinical transplantation trials. Karla Edge, 50, of Pensacola, FL, who is featured in another video, is one such patient who has been living insulin-free for more than six years post-transplant. Diagnosed with type 1 at age 6, she is now living her dream. “All they have to do is hear my story. I no

longer have the problems, I don’t have erratic blood sugars, and I have a second chance at life,” she said. “I wish everyone with type 1 could have this. They saved my life.” While Karla’s story is a testament to the progress being made toward a cure, it is the unique DRI philosophy that truly gives patients and their families a Reason to Believe. “Curing diabetes has been and will continue to be our singular focus until that


LEADS WITH PASSION AND PURPOSE These days, employees are demanding more from their jobs. They want to work for a company that’s making a difference in the world. But in order for people to feel engaged on a fundamental level, it often takes senior management to create an ideal and meaningful work culture. Roy Ripak, market vice president of Walgreens, has done just that, and it’s his infectious enthusiasm and passion that has ignited a movement throughout stores in the state of Florida and beyond. Under his leadership, Walgreens of Florida has helped raise upward of $500,000 for the curefocused work of the Diabetes Research Institute in just two short years since the partnership began. “I have reason to believe that the Diabetes Research Institute can find a cure for diabetes, and I think that’s something that we can all easily stand behind, from our store managers, cashiers and pharmacists to the customers we assist every day,” said Roy, who started his career at Walgreens in 1974 when he was just a teenager. Roy continued to move up through the ranks of the company while working toward his Master’s degree at the University of Miami. It was partly the DRI’s affiliation with his alma mater that sparked his interest in the organization.

efforts of Georgia Lehoczky, South Florida market pharmacy director, the excitement began to spread throughout the state and parts of Georgia and Alabama with sales of “scannables” in various increments, followed by the first-ever Walk with Walgreens Family Fun Day & Health Fair. Held simultaneously at 14 locations, the successful events were organized by store manager Clint Smethurst, who accepted the ambitious assignment with gusto. Already planning for next year, Clint promises another amazing day of walkathons, which are slated for March 24, 2012. Other Walgreens employees who have followed Roy’s lead are: South Florida store managers Victor and Tom Lehoczky, who engaged in a friendly sibling rivalry to see which brother’s store could raise more money; Hollywood cashier Eileen Flanagan, who solicited the most donations through the canister collection at her register; Fort Lauderdale store manager and community leader Dan Espinosa, who has a child with type 1 and spearheaded his local walkathon with a powerful and passionate commitment; and Miami Beach store manager Sal Sastre, who was wholeheartedly inspired and held multiple fundraising events at his location. These are just a few names; there are many more.

“Given that the DRI is right here in our own backyard, I felt like our employees in Florida would really be able to connect with it. The fact that the DRI is a global leader in diabetes research just made it even more compelling,” said Roy. To the entire Walgreens family, from your DRI In the beginning, only South Florida stores were partners, we thank you for being a company that’s fundraising for the DRI by having collection canis- making a difference. ters at cash registers and selling plush toys bearing Florida college emblems. Then, thanks to the

goal is reached,” said Robert A. Pearlman, president and CEO of the DRI Foundation. “There is no other organization that financially supports research that is 100 percent focused on a cure. That is why those who are serious and passionately committed to finding a cure become a part of the DRI family. They can see and feel a shared mission to end this disease.” According to DRI Scientific Director Dr. Camillo

Ricordi, a cure for diabetes can only come from maintaining an organizational commitment to staying completely curefocused and by collaborating with other centers worldwide. “The only sure way to not find a cure is to abandon the search for a cure,” he says. “There is a sufficient element of progress in the last five years to justify our renewed interest and enthusiasm in cure-focused

Under the leadership of Roy Ripak, several Walgreens employees have been inspired by his passionate commitment to a cure and followed through by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the DRI.

Join us again in Florida for this fun family event on March 24, 2012!

research and gives us a great hope that a cure could be within reach,” he said. If you share our Reason to Believe, please “don’t do nothing.” Visit to make a donation and/or become a Diabetes Diplomat by organizing your own fundraising project. A $50,000 matching gift is being offered toward the r2b Diabetes Diplomats campaign.

7 |


Awards from the DRI Foundation’s Cycle of Discovery series and Heritage Society plaques were presented to donors who recently made major gifts or planned gifts. The award program corresponds with the Foundation’s cumulative giving designations. Some were presented individually, and others were given out to contributors of The Empire Ball at a reception held at The Durst Organization in New York City.



Visionaries Chairman’s Council Leadership Council Governors’ Society Distinguished Humanitarians Grand Founders Founders Benefactors

$10,000,000+ $5,000,000+ $1,000,000+ $500,000+

Innovation Validation Perpetuation Translation

$250,000+ $100,000+ $50,000+ $25,000+

Realization Exploration Hypothesis Query














REALIZATION: (1) Samantha Shanken Baker of M. Shanken Communications, Inc., accepted “Realization” on behalf of the Shanken Family Foundation and “Query” on behalf of herself and Michael Baker. EXPLORATION: (2) Barbara Scott with DRIF’s Robert A. Pearlman, (3) Zeynep Inali of Quality Building Services Corp. with Empire Ball Chairman Peter L. DiCapua and Northeast Board Chairwoman Risa Pulver, (4) Bianca and Vince Wilfork of the New England Patriots with DRIF’s Brian Huether.


HYPOTHESIS: (5) Michael Landis of Schindler Elevator Corp., (6) Richard L'Esperance of Centennial Elevator Industries, Inc., (7) Bill Ryan of Lane Office accepting “Hypothesis” and “Query”. QUERY AWARD: (8) Al Hart of Edmar Cleaning Corp., (9) Adam Homan of The Homan Foundation, (10) Pete Johnson of Quality First Produce, Inc., (11) Rich Locascio of Advanced Electronic Solutions, Inc., (12) John Marcato of PS Marcato Elevator Co. (13) Brett Sundheim, accepting on behalf of her and her husband, Daniel. HERITAGE SOCIETY: (14) Lorrie Ann Knowles and her son, Richard Alan Knowles Gurwitz, who is an islet transplant recipient.

“There's no other discipline in the history of medicine that has been advancing as fast as stem cell research.”


with Juan Dominguez-Bendala, Ph.D.

DRI researchers have shown that replacing the insulin-producing islet cells in patients with long-standing diabetes can restore natural insulin production, normalize blood sugar control and eliminate the frightening hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episodes common in those requiring insulin therapy. While we are extremely encouraged by this progress and the results of recent clinical islet transplantation trials, we are not yet able to apply this procedure to all who could benefit. One of the major challenges is the short supply of donor tissue. At the DRI, we are pursuing several strategies to develop an unlimited cell supply. A major focus is the use of stem cells. These “naïve” cells reproduce quickly and when given “instructions” have the potential to become any cell type of the body including insulinproducing cells. Dr. Juan Dominguez-Bendala director of the Stem Cell Development and Translational Lab, launched our stem cell research program a decade ago, having come to the DRI from the Roslin Institute in Scotland where he worked on the team that cloned Dolly the sheep. Q. How has stem cell research evolved at the DRI since you started the program a decade ago? A. There's no other discipline in the history of medicine that has been advancing as fast as stem cell research. We continue to make steady progress. We know we're on the right track. We have reason to believe that this may be the next big breakthrough in medicine. The greatest challenge now is to make sure stem cell therapies are safe. Q. How are you addressing the issue of safety? A. Embryonic stem cells are considered the gold standard of all stem cells. They proliferate

at a remarkable rate, which makes them an ideal candidate to alleviate the shortage of insulin-producing cells in persons with diabetes. But when left unchecked, wildly dividing embryonic stem cells can cause tumors to form. We're working to eliminate that risk by developing safer, more efficient protocols for the use of these cells. We're genetically engineering embryonic stem cells so that they contain "suicide genes" that will kill cells that keep dividing (leading to the development of tumors) or don't produce insulin— a kind of double fail-safe mechanism. We are in the process of building these cells so that we can move to the second phase, which is to test them in pre-clinical models. Q. What other important advancements are being made in stem cell research at the DRI? A. One of the things we've been focusing on is to identify alternate sources of stem cells. I collaborated with Dr. Luca Inverardi to identify a unique population of stem cells from umbilical cord blood that can be coaxed into becoming insulin-producing beta cells. They're easily obtained, plentiful, bankable and initial studies are promising. They behave in a manner that's similar to embryonic stem cells and we got insulinproducing cells in our studies. We just reported these findings in Cell Transplantation and we're very excited about the potential for these cells to alleviate the shortage of insulin-producing cells for transplant. Another process we're studying will allow us to turn one type of cell directly into an insulin-producing cell - in one step - as opposed to the progressive education of stem cells. My colleague Dr. Ricardo Pastori and I are testing ways to turn non-islet tissue of the pancreas, the acinar cells, into insulin-producing cells. Acinar cells are plentiful, making up almost 98 percent of

the pancreas, and typically discarded after an islet isolation procedure, which makes them a good candidate for consideration. And in a preliminary study we've just completed, we used something called modified messenger RNAs to reprogram these cells into insulin-producing cells. So we're very excited about that. Throughout it all, one of the things I'm most proud of is our discovery of the key role that oxygen plays in the development of insulinproducing cells. We've long known oxygen was essential to the function of beta cells, but we were the first ones to bring attention to the critical role oxygen plays in the maturation of cells in the lab. We developed a device called the “oxygen sandwich” which provides maturing cells with an oxygen environment that’s more like their native pancreas. As a result, maturing cells in the oxygen sandwich produced 30 times more insulin than those in traditional plastic culture containers, creating a greater supply of islet cells for transplantation. Q. How will this research lead us to a biological cure for diabetes? A. Unlike many other diseases for which cell therapies are being proposed, diabetes is one disease for which we already have a cell therapy: islet transplantation. We know it works. We have the proof of principle that if we can transplant cells that produce insulin, we will correct diabetes. But we cannot yet apply this technology to all the people who can benefit from it. Stem cells offer hope to address the issue of supply and I am personally committed to making that a reality. Read the entire interview with Dr. Bendala at You can also visit to view research updates from Dr. Bendala and our other researchers. 9 |


DRI's Ricordi Chairs International Transplant Conference


Research progress being made at the DRI and other centers worldwide was shared with scientists from across the globe at

Dr. Camillo Ricordi, who founded the Cell Transplant Society and served as president, chaired the 2011 Joint Congress.

the Cell Transplant Society - International Xenotransplantation Association conference which took place in Miami from October 23 26 and was chaired by DRI Scientific Director Dr. Camillo Ricordi.

The gathering of world leaders in transplant science comes at a time when there are mounting regulatory, economic, academic and legal impediments to research innovation. But according to Dr. Ricordi, there is still reason to believe in a cure for diabetes. Insulin independence has already been achieved through islet transplantation. Now the focus is to overcome the remaining challenges so that cell replacement therapy

will become a reality for all patients who can benefit. Several DRI scientists delivered presentations on research progress in the areas of tolerance and immunomodulation; cell supply/ alternative sources of insulin producing cells; tissue engineering, nanotechnology and biomaterials; cell biology; and clinical studies. To read more about the research presented by DRI scientists, please visit for the latest issue of our Under the Microscope e-newsletter. Sign up to be a DRInsider today and get the latest news and updates from us!


The global alliance between Diabetes Research Institute and its partners at Diabetes Research Institute Federation centers has produced a string of research results that have been given cover stories in three of the most prestigious scientific journals in the country – Nature Medicine, Cell Metabolism and Science Translational Medicine – all within a period of about a month. A fourth study was released just days later in the highly-competitive Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

While typically unheard of, even at the finest academic institutions, this peer-reviewed excellence garnered within a short amount of time also demonstrates the strength and productivity of the global collaboration

model, which has been the hallmark of the Diabetes Research Institute since its inception.

“The Diabetes Research Institute has become a hub of innovation, where likeminded scientists from all over the world join forces to contribute to ‘outside the box’ research geared to cure diabetes,” explains Camillo Ricordi, M.D., scientific director of the DRI. The vortex of scientific activity is the result of a multi-year commitment made by the DRI and DRI Foundation to establish highly integrated international teams to advance cure focused diabetes research. These teams evolved to what is today the DRI Federation, a network of collaborative scientists who

have formally agreed to pool knowledge and work together to overcome the traditional barriers of academic competitiveness and geographic distance.

The result of this collaborative network is a blessing for patients with diabetes, as the pace of research has quickened significantly as demonstrated by these leading publications. To read highlights or view the published papers, visit

@ DIABETES 2.0 >> ONLINE! It’s that time again for Diabetes 2.0, the DRI’s annual research update – presented online! If you want to learn the latest from the labs, you don’t need to travel any further than your own computer. Just visit to select from the topics available. You’ll hear directly from DRI scientists about the latest developments and the progress toward a cure made just in the last year, including:

• Transplanting special cells called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) together with islets, which has shown to prevent rejection, promote the growth of blood vessels, reduce harmful inflammation and prolong islet function; • Testing a newly-developed, biocompatible scaffold to house transplanted insulin-producing cells, which has resulted in long-term insulin independence in preclinical models;


Cover story continues.

In their previous preclinical study, Drs. Kenyon, Bartholomew and colleagues demonstrated that transplant recipients who received mesenchymal stem cells together with the islets had double the function or more as compared to the study models receiving islets alone. Additionally, MSCs have been shown to have the ability to reverse the rejection process and minimize harmful inflammation while promoting tissue repair, as well as the blood vessel growth needed to transport oxygen and other nutrients to the islet cells. In this new group of studies, titled Immunomodulatory and Regenerative Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Allografts, Drs. Kenyon and Bartholomew will team up with Drs. Daniel Salomon and Kenton McHenry to further the work on MSC by 1) determining the optimal source of MSCs – whether these cells should come from the recipient or from a third party; 2) verifying that MSCs can consistently reverse rejection episodes – and if so, then developing an MSC-based anti-rejection therapy; 3) analyzing MSCs for the specific characteristics that enhance transplant survival – since all MSCs are not identical, the optimal source of MSCs needs to be identified for the transplant community; and 4) completing islet and kidney pilot studies for inclusion in FDA Investigation New Drug (IND) submissions. The study is comprised of several components including:

• Project 1, Dr. Kenyon, focusing on cellular (islet) transplantation; • Project 2, Dr. Bartholomew, focusing on kidney transplantation; • Administrative Core, led by Dr. Kenyon. • Genomic and Proteomic Analyses Core, led by Dr. Daniel Salomon, Scripps Research Institute, California • Data Analyses Core, led by Dr. Kenton McHenry; University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign.

• Developing oxygen-generating materials that provide islets with this critical element until new blood vessels grow around the transplanted cells; • Discovering a new technology for reprogramming various cell types in the body to become insulin producing cells; • Passing into a new era of collaborative research by digitally bridging people and project teams around the world who work

in multiple disease disciplines, and focusing their expertise on curing diabetes and other conditions…and much more. Plus, you’ll be able to peek inside the labs and see the exciting work under way. Share the videos with your friends on Facebook, ask questions and we’ll post the answers, and join the conversation by tweeting your comments using #Diabetes2_0. See you online!

11 |


FEATURED ON LIFETIME TV'S THE BALANCING ACT As part of its “Living with Diabetes” series airing throughout November, The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television is featuring the Diabetes Research Institute in several segments to help educate viewers about diabetes, managing the disease and the progress being made toward a cure. In the first segment, “Raising a Child with Diabetes,” viewers will meet Crystal Sanchez, mom to Matthew, 11, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 5. Crystal explains what it was like to learn that her young son has the chronic illness, how it has affected her family and what Matthew endures to manage his blood sugar levels every day. Kellie Rodriguez, M.S.N., C.D.E., C.P.T., director of patient education at the DRI's Kosow Diabetes Treatment Center, describes how it truly is a "balancing act" for patients to keep blood sugar levels within the normal range since so many things affect it, like food, exercise and mood, among others. In the second segment, “Closing in on a Cure for Diabetes,” DRI Foundation President and CEO Robert A. Pearlman speaks about the

organization's singular focus on curing those now living with diabetes by restoring their ability to naturally produce their own insulin to control their blood sugar levels. As a testament to the significant progress that has been made toward this goal, viewers hear directly from guest Cyndi Smart, who became insulin independent for almost six years after receiving an islet cell transplant at the DRI. While islet transplantation is still in an experimental phase, it has shown proof of concept that insulin independence can be achieved and work continues at the DRI to build upon this substantial progress. The promising results achieved thus far with patients like Cyndi and dozens of others who participated in the clinical trials give millions living with diabetes and their families a reason to believe that a cure for diabetes is within reach. The Balancing Act is America's only one-hour morning show that's about women, for women, and trusted by women. Celebrating life and all there is to accomplish, The Balancing Act inspires and empowers with entertaining and educational shows – which help place women in the best position to achieve success in every area of their lives. Also during Diabetes Awareness Month, Lifetime viewers will be able to watch a series of helpful tips about the disease from DRI experts. Be sure to tune in to Lifetime during November!


If you take a distribution from your IRA account or another qualified retirement account, the amount is included in your income for that year. For several years now, however, taxpayers aged 70½ and older have had the option to make a direct transfer of up to $100,000 from their IRA accounts to a charitable organization—a “charitable rollover”— without the transfer being treated as a taxable distribution to the account owner. Last year’s tax legislation extended this option through the 2011 tax year.

Even though an IRA charitable rollover is not deductible, the amount of the transfer is not included in the taxpayer’s income. Directly transferring IRA funds (as opposed to taking a personal distribution and contributing the proceeds) can be beneficial in multiple ways: • Some states do not allow separate itemized deductions for charitable contributions, so a personal distribution would generate state income tax in such situations.

• It provides a way if you have already made maximum deductible charitable contributions to further achieve your charitable goals without incurring federal income tax. • It reduces the amount that you must take as a required minimum distribution in subsequent years. • You may use a direct IRA charitable rollover to satisfy some or all of your minimum distribution requirement—a factor that can save the income taxes you would have paid on a taxable distribution. You may use an IRA charitable rollover to make an outright gift only. Contributions to donor-advised funds or life-income gifts are not allowed.

LET ME COUNT THE WAYS TO GIVE There are so many different ways to contribute to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. Below is a short list of easy ways to give, and we have additional ideas posted on our website. Go to: Donate Items to Cure Thrift Shop

FINE JEWELERS ON THE BALCONY AT 59TH & LEX Bloomingdale's 59th Street will celebrate its newly-renovated Fine Jewelry department at the flagship location at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan on December 7. Ten percent of sales from Fine Jewelry on that evening, as well as all day December 8, will benefit the Diabetes Research Institute. In addition, Bloomingdale’s is collaborating with nine respected jewelry designers, each of whom will create a “One of a Kind” piece that will go on sale soon after the relaunch. The proceeds from these truly unique designs will benefit both the Diabetes Research Institute and the Hall Family Center for Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Designers include Buccellati, Charriol, Frederique Constant, John Hardy, Judith Ripka, Lagos, Marco Bicego, Nancy B. and Roberto Coin.

“HI, DO YOU LIKE ME? CHECK YES OR NO.” Remember when admitting you like someone involved passing notes in class? Thankfully, on Facebook it’s a lot easier to show your appreciation for the Diabetes Research Institute! A simple click on the Like button at will do. Once you have given the Diabetes Research Institute page a Like, you can connect with other Facebook users who are as passionate about helping the DRI find a cure as you are. Regardless of whether you’ve dealt with diabetes your whole life or you’re a parent of a newly diagnosed child, you can silently listen to discussions occurring on our wall or make your opinions known with comments. As someone who Likes the DRI page, you will be privy to a new research update each week, which we post on the wall every Thursday. You will also be kept in the loop about events occurring around the globe and fundraising projects that you can get involved in. Thousands of supporters have already visited our official page at and clicked the Like button at the top of it. It’s that easy! (And there’s no risk of being caught by the teacher.) See you there!

For the unique finds and amazing bargains, the buzz in NYC is all about Cure Thrift Shop, which benefits the Diabetes Research Institute. But the reason behind it…is you! Founder Elizabeth Wolff, who has type 1 diabetes, attributes much of the boutique’s success to the quality of the merchandise donations she receives – from collectibles and antiques to high-end contemporary furniture and exclusive brand name clothing, shoes and accessories. So, if those Jimmy Choos are “so last season” or it’s time to remodel the penthouse again, please consider calling Liz to help you cleanse. It’s good for your soul…and the DRI! Visit for more information and to shop online, or call (212) 505-7467. In Honor and Memory During the Holidays Around the holidays, we think even more about friends and family members who have passed away. And most of us have a loved one with diabetes who is hoping for a cure every day. What could be a more meaningful gift than one made to the DRI in honor or in memory of those special people? The DRI Foundation makes it simple to do. Just call 800-321-3437 or visit You can also choose to send a holiday e-card. ‘Tis the Season for Giving and Shopping Whether you’re planning to purchase a shiny, new car for Christmas or looking for eight perfect presents for Hanukkah, keep these two helpful websites at the top of your list: and The former will help make room in your driveway by towing away the old clunker for free (in most states) and donating 65 percent of the sale price to the DRIF. Cars, trucks, SUVs and boats are accepted. The latter offers a lengthy list of online retailers like Amazon and Best Buy and will contribute a percentage of sales to our cure-focused mission. Just search by name: Diabetes Research Institute.

13 |


ANY DAY CAN BE DAD’S DAY Sponsored by the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) of the AFL-CIO, Project Type Zero is dedicated to helping the DRI move closer to a cure. The brothers and sisters of the BCTD, led by President Mark H. Ayers and Secretary/Treasurer Sean McGarvey, have been tirelessly fundraising for the DRI for a quarter of a century. The majority of the tens of thousands of dollars they donate annually come through two major campaigns: Dollars Against Diabetes and Labor of Love. The Dollars Against Diabetes initiative, better known as DAD’s Day, began on Father’s Day weekend of 1986, when street corner collections were held by unions across the country. The appropriately titled project has since spread throughout the country into 70 separate events that occur throughout the year. But the purpose has remained the same – to raise Dollars Against Diabetes.

three golf courses and was followed by a reception at Martins Crosswinds where Senator Ben Cardin spoke about the importance of putting labor men and women back to work. Also on June 19 across the country in South Bend, IN, the 2011 St. Joseph Valley BCTC held its 11th annual Poker Run for DAD’s Day. Riders made five stops along their journey to pick poker cards in hopes of a winning hand. According to Jay Mummey, event chairman, the fun-filled day raised more than $11,000. Celebrating DAD’s Day on October 8 all the way out west in Huntington Beach, CA, was the Ironworkers Local 433. Their annual golf tournament was hosted by Cathy Mitchell, California’s 29th Secretary of State.

It is projects like these held throughout the year by the four million members of the BCTD that render hope for a diabetes-free tomorrow, which is the vision of Project Type Each year one union hall receives the Top Fundraiser trophy. Zero. The DRI is proud to share the goal of so many fellow Raising $54,900, Washington D.C., Building Trades and their hardworking Americans. Special thanks are extended to affiliate councils won the honor for 2010. In 2011 DC Building Alyson Mizke for directing this tremendous fundraising Trades held a Golf Outing on June 10 at Twin Shield Golf initiative. Course in Dunkirk, MD. There Executive Secretary/Treasurer Vance Ayres accepted the trophy on behalf of his council Learn more at and his fellow affiliate event chairmen, Steve Harty of Ironworkers (IW) Local 5, and Chuck Graham of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26. The IW Local 5 organized a Poker Run on June 19 in Upper Marlboro, MD, and the IBEW Local 26 held a golf outing on June 6 at Andrews Air Force Base. The tournament filled all

1. Ironworkers Local 5 members and supporters wait for event Chair Steve “Snoopy” Harty (top right) to send them off to their first stop of the Poker Run., 2. Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland spoke at the dinner following the annual DAD’s Day golf outing organized by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26. He is pictured with Butch Ramos.


GOES SOUTH BEACH CHIC Reminiscent of a glamorous South Beach hotspot, the DRI’s 13th Annual Crystal Ball, held at the Garden City Hotel on April 30, delivered much more than another alluring affair. More than 400 guests that included Long Island’s most prominent business leaders and supporters helped raise $700,000. At the black-tie affair, Honoree Charles F. Murphy, senior vice president and general manager of Turner Construction Company, was recognized for his support of diabetes research and outstanding work in the community. The 2011 Gillin Family Humanitarian Award was bestowed upon shoe maven and Great Neck boutique owner Steven Dann for his service in support of diabetes research and his close friends, DRIF board members Addy Fritzhand and Miriam Shiff. The other VIPs for the evening were Bill and Joan Fishlinger who were honored as the first recipients of the Crystal Ball Distinguished Service Award, created to recognize and thank individuals who have been active supporters of the DRI and the annual event. Serving as Crystal Ball co-chairs were Charles Rizzo and Bruce Waller. 1. (l-r) Honoree Charles Murphy, Gala Cochairs and DRIF LI Regional Board members Charles Rizzo and Bruce Waller, plus DRIF LI Regional Board member Douglas R. Donaldson, 2. (l-r) Gillin Family Humanitarian Award Recipient Steven Dann with Sue and Arthur Gillin, 3. Distinguished Service Award Recipients Bill and Joan Fishlinger with their children, Ali and Matthew Fishlinger.

“Simply put, it was an evening to remember. From the elegant and very moving remarks from each of those being honored to the room décor, food and of course the generosity displayed by all attendees, this was truly a home run of an event,” said Allan L. Pashcow, chairman of the DRI Foundation’s Long Island regional board. “It was also wonderful to hear of the advancements being made at the DRI from Dr. Mitra Zehtab who, through her report

from the frontline of research, provided hope that a cure is near.” The audience was brought to complete silence when honored guest and DRIF's National Board Treasurer Bill Fishlinger spoke of his family’s long-time involvement with the DRI and the need to continue to support its work to get to the finish line of a cure. “I am asking for your support not as a businessman or a colleague, but as a friend and father…a father of a child with type 1 diabetes.” The audience responded enthusiastically to Bill's heartfelt plea with record-breaking donations in support of the Fund-A-Grant Program. The Crystal Ball continued its long heritage of being a standout event, with a glitzy décor featuring all things cool and chic. The ballroom was replete with palm leaves, glimmering blue hues and tropical touches. You could feel that South Beach heat in the room! All of the decorations and styling was produced and donated by floral and event designer extraordinaire Adrian at Metro Floral of Great Neck. Sponsors for the event included Platinum Sponsors Turner Construction Company and Bruce and Roberta Waller and The Rowland and Sylvia Schaefer Family Foundation; Gold Sponsors Anne and John Doscas, A-Val Architectural Metal III, LLC, Combined Resources Interiors, Inc., Lowy & Donnath, Inc., Rooms To Go Children’s Fund, The Donaldson Organization and Unity Electric Co., Inc., and WRM America among others.


Sportsmen for Charity

The ninth annual Sportsmen for Charity sporting clay event took place on April 15 at Pawling Mountain Club in Pawling, NY. Bordered by the Appalachian Trail National Park, this club has the ideal woodland setting for a day of marksmanship and a good cause. Approximately 70 participants helped raised $20,000 for the DRI. Pictured is Charles Guigno (back center), event chairman, with his family: (l-r) Kristin Ferrigno, Ilene Guigno, Joseph Ferrigno, Debbie Sinodinos, Donna Farrigno and Michael Sinodinos.

15 |


Vince Wilfork’s Draft Day Fundraiser

In light of the NFL lockout that was in effect, Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork (l) and his wife, Bianca, were pleased if not amazed by the great turnout of their eighth annual Draft Day Fundraiser, held on April 28. Even Senator Scott Brown (r) showed up at Pinz Entertainment in Milford, MA, to support Wilfork and the cause he is so passionate about. Approximately $150,000, more than ever before, was raised to help cure diabetes. Other Patriots players in attendance included: Kevin Faulk, Jerod Mayo, Matt Light, Sebastian Vollmer, Dan Koppen and Sammy Morris.

Shell Key West Fishing Tournament Benefiting the DRI for the fifth year, the Shell Key West Fishing Challenge was held April 28 through May 1 on the beautiful waters surrounding Key West, FL. As always, it was led by Hayden Blaylock (seated), founder of Blaylock Oil Company, and his daughter, Crystal Blaylock Sanchez, whose son, Matthew Sanchez, has type 1 diabetes. Pictured (l-r): DRI’s Luca Inverardi, M.D., accepted a check from Dave Preston, Jim Deakin, David Bunch, Paul Stanifer, and Bob Pease, executives from Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises, tournament sponsors. The $25,000 check represents just a portion of the proceeds, which to date have surpassed $350,000.

Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak has held an online auction for diabetes research for seven consecutive years in honor of her son, Thad, who was diagnosed with type 1 at age 5 (pictured). Always held throughout the month of May at, the auction was as big as ever, attracting thousands of bidders and raising $300,500 for the DRI. Brenda’s fundraising efforts multiplied this year with an event in Rocklin, CA, called The Perfect Brunch, as well as the sales of an exclusive designer silk scarf. She attributes her fundraising success to heartfelt passion and dedication, as well as the support of hundreds of generous donors and supporters, including several friends in the literary world.

Kids Party for a Cure (FL) Approximately 600 people enjoyed Miami’s third Kids Party for a Cure on May 1. Upon entering UM’s BankUnited Center, they embarked upon a cross-country Road Trip featuring food, fun and entertainment from destinations across the United States. It was a family affair for many, including the eight Dade and Broward County moms who served as chairpersons for the event: Meredith Buchwald, Therese Gibb, Amy Greenwald, Jill Hirsch, Dorothy Isriel, Alyson Katz, Nikki Simkins and Jenn Tacher. As is becoming a trend for this party, children served as sponsors alongside families and businesses, resulting in a collective community effort and proceeds totaling $130,000. Pictured are (l-r) Jonny, Scott, Amy and Lexi Greenwald, representing The Greenwald Group/Townhomes of Oak Lane, top sponsor.

D.R.E.a.M.S. in the city On Thursday, May 5, the Sixth Annual D.R.E.a.M.S. in the city paid homage to honorees Marc D. Taub (far right), president and CEO of Palm Bay International, and Bob Harper (4th from right), fitness expert on NBC’s renowned The Biggest Loser, at New York City’s stunning Lower East Side locale, Capitale. According to Co-chairs Bonnie Inserra (far left), Samantha Shanken Baker (4th from left) and Risa Pulver (3rd from right), the event raised more than $600,000. Nearly 500 supporters enjoyed a delicious dinner, plus live and silent auctions, while Miami’s DJ Irie spun popular music and Alan Kalter (3rd from left), the voice of Late Show with David Letterman, served as Master of Ceremonies. Also pictured are: Thomas D. Stern (2nd from left), immediate past chairman of the DRIF, and DRI Scientific Director Camillo Ricordi, M.D., who addressed the crowd about the latest advances in the lab.

Don Strock Diabetes Classic Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Don Strock (far right) led 150 golfers onto the courses at Miccosukee Golf and Country Club on May 11 for the 28th Annual Don Strock Diabetes Golf Classic, presented by Miami Seaquarium. After hitting the links, players enjoyed a cocktail reception and dinner program, during which Strock gave accolades to Tournament Chairman Bruce Fishbein (far left) and his hard-working committee, composed mainly of members of the produce industry. The group then heard from Benno Schmidt, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 22 years and is the special projects coordinator for Seminole Media Productions, as well as the host of dLife TV. Proceeds of the event totaled more than $142,000 for the DRI. Also pictured are Terry Willie of Miccosukee Golf & Country Club and Flipper the Dolphin of Miami Seaquarium, representing the top two sponsors (not pictured, Arthur Hertz of the Miami Seaquarium).

Drinks for Diabetes To kick off the summer, young professionals in Washington, D.C. organized a happy hour gathering at The Front Page Restaurant & Grille. They called it Drinks for Diabetes, and hundreds of people joined in the event, making donations for sweepstakes prizes while enjoying a few happy hours together. Pictured raising funds and awareness for the DRI in our nation's capital are event Chairpersons (l-r) Carolyn Billetdeaux, Briana Pashcow, Ali Fishlinger and Meghan Tran.

Wedding Veil Walk for a Cure The sight of more than 100 “brides and grooms” strolling through Old Westbury Gardens created a stir in Old Brookville, NY, at the Wedding Veil Walk for a Cure on May 22. The unique fundraiser was sponsored by Iman Bridal Couture, owned by Iman Baccash (c), and co-chaired by Wendy Waller (l) and Iris Feldman (r), who also serves on the DRI Foundation’s Long Island regional board of directors. While women wore tulle wedding veils, the men donned bowties, and after the Walk, family entertainment ensued.

Ron Darling Golf Classic Ron Darling’s 3rd Annual Golf Classic took place in East Norwich, NY, at Pine Hollow Country Club on July 18. As a father of a child with diabetes, Ron extended his heartfelt appreciation to the various fellow former pro-athletes who joined him on the course, as well as the many generous attendees and hard working committee members who made the fundraiser possible. After a day hitting the links, guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner and a performance by the hilarious Stewie Stone. Pictured with Darling (c), who serves on the DRIF’s National Board of Directors, are (l-r): Mike Montagnino, Vincent Adamando, Larry Zachario and Allan L. Pashcow, DRIF Long Island Regional Board chairman. 17 |


Rod Gilbert DRI Golf Classic

Also taking place at the beautiful Pine Hollow Country Club was the Rod Gilbert DRI Golf Classic. It was held on August 8 in memory of Anthony John Vitale and Helaine Shari White. Led by Tournament Directors Eric Reeps (r) and Bob Zuckerman (l), the committee also honored Aimee Skier, vice president of AMSkier Insurance, and Wayne A. Lang, director of property management of Stawski Partners. According to Honorary Chairman Rod Gilbert, the event raised $180,000.

Cure Thrift Shop Birthday Party Nearly 300 New Yorkers attended Cure Thrift Shop’s 3rd Birthday Thrift Spectacular on August 11 at the popular lower Manhattan boutique. Guests shopped from thousands of pieces of vintage and designer clothing and fabulous furniture, art, and collectibles, which were donated by generous friends of the DRI Foundation and East Village neighbors. A big top finished off a festive vintage circus theme, and party goers dances to the live music of Roosevelt Dime. Drinks were sponsored by Voli Vodka. Pictured is owner Elizabeth Wolff (2nd from left) with her family (l-r) Dr. Martin Wolff, Sarah Schlesinger, Becky Schlesinger, Eileen Schlesinger, and Libby Schlesinger. Now even if you’re not in NYC, you can purchase treasures from Cure Thrift Shop. Visit!

Young Professionals Beer and Sausage Tasting The DRI Foundation’s NYC Young Professionals held their first ever Beer and Sausage Tasting event on Saturday, August 20 at the friendly midtown trattoria, Biricchino. Executive Chef Paul Valetutti created a delicious five-course meal, which featured a number of handmade cured meats and fresh sausages from Salumeria Biellese. Each course was paired with one of Brew Circus’s unique beer offerings. Attendees met other young professionals who shared not only a love of good food, but also the desire to support the cure-focused work of the DRI. According to lead organizers Lindsey Inserra, John Hughes, Paul Valetutti and Melissa Hyland, the event is just the start of great things to come for this dedicated group. Lindsey, who has type 1 diabetes, is pictured (2nd from right) with friends.

Fall Into Fashion Kick-Off Led by Co-chairs Fran Helfant, Korey Liebman and Roberta Waller, the Fall Into Fashion committee and supporters kicked off their fundraising season with a cocktail party on September 13. Steven Dann generously offered to host the festivity at his boutique and donate a percentage of the evening’s proceeds to the DRI. Surrounded by style and haute couture fashions, guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails while shopping and chatting excitedly about the Fall into Fashion luncheon, to be held on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at the Fresh Meadow Country Club in Great Neck, NY. Pictured (l-r) are Fall Into Fashion Honoree Frances B. Reid, Fall into Fashion Humanitarian Wendy Waller and DRI Foundation Long Island regional board member Miriam Shiff. Serving as Honorary Chairperson for Fall into Fashion is Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice.

Phil Peterson’s Key West Poker Run Phil Peterson’s 39th Annual Key West Poker Run attracted approximately 10,000 bikers to the Keys once again the weekend of September 16-18. Though the ride is half the fun, more than 3,000 participants vied for the winning poker hand, and Joy Rohrer from Myakka City, FL, emerged the ecstatic winner of a new 883 Sportster Iron. Pictured are Drew Peterson (r), Phil’s son who has been instrumental in the organization of this event year after year, and Brian Huether (l) of the DRIF.

Pig Roast for a Cure Each year, Gigi (r) and Michael Otten (2nd from left) of East Islip, NY, host a backyard barbeque in support of the cure-focused work underway at the DRI. Approximately 200 supporters attended on September 24, enjoying succulent roasted pork and the rest of the food on hand under a tent. This year Bob Pearlman, DRI Foundation president and CEO, was happy to join the fun. He is pictured (l) with the host couple and their son, Nicholas Otten.

Gold Coast Concours/Bimmerstock Long Island’s third annual Gold Coast Concours/Bimmerstock event, presented by Martino Auto Concepts/MAC Auto Couture, benefited the DRI on Sunday, September 25. Thousands of spectators lined the blocked off streets of the City of Glen Cove’s downtown business district, where more than 600 exotic, fine European and custom vehicles were on display. Dara Kriss-Melnick spoke about her battle with type 1 diabetes and introduced Bob Pearlman, who gave special thanks to Joe LaPadula (4th from right) and Derek Pasch (far left) of MAC, the creators and primary organizers of the event since its inception. He also recognized DRIF board members Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (3rd from right) and Bruce Waller for their help organizing the event. And Anthony E. Childs, DRIF LI regional director (center left), presented a certificate of appreciation to Mayor Ralph Suozzi (center right). The event raised a record $57,000. Also pictured (l-r) are: Glen Cove City Councilmen Sean Dwyer, Tony Jiminez, and Tim Tenke, plus DJ Joe Manifrerdie and Glen Cove Deputy Mayor Maureen Basdavanos.

The Donaldson Organization Golf Outing Ranked one of the top courses in the U.S. and the world by Golf Magazine, Winged Foot Golf Club played host to The Donaldson Organization Golf Outing on October 3 in Mamaroneck, NY. Benefiting the DRI this year, the annual event honored Eli Zamek (2nd from left) of Vornado Development and Stuart Koshner (center) of RC Dolner, LLC. It was chaired by D. Robert (Bob) Donaldson (left), whose son, Douglas R. Donaldson (right), serves on DRIF’s Long Island regional board, and whose grandson, Matthew (far right), was diagnosed a few years ago with type 1 diabetes. A lively auction kicked off the evening’s dinner program, which was highlighted by the heartfelt words of the Donaldson family, as well as Meredith and Scott Buchwald, whose daughter, Lauren, also has type 1 diabetes.

Fashion & Beauty Week Fashion, beauty (and science!) collided on the runway October 3 and 4 at Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, NJ, during Fashion & Beauty Week. The ultra-hip international affair attracted top designers, celebrities and more. Yet amidst the beautiful models, it was the DRI that took center stage as beneficiary, thanks to a mother-daughter duo, longtime supporters Bonnie and Lindsey Inserra. Pictured with Bonnie is Jack Panico, event founder. Special thanks are extended to the Inserra Family and Inserra Supermarkets for generously leading this event as Diamond Sponsors.

Molly and Lindsey Invitational The Molly and Lindsey Invitational took place at White Beeches Golf and Country Club in Haworth, NJ, on September 26. Honorees Molly Minicucci Phillips and Lindsey Inserra (far left and right) were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 9 and 11 respectively. Initiated by their parents, Nicholas and Susan Minicucci and Larry Inserra, Jr., and Bonnie Inserra (center), the two young women’s families have shared friendship and support for more than a decade now. The fortitude of their bond was evident throughout the event. Their alliance, The Molly and Lindsey Foundation for Diabetes Research, benefits a collaboration between the DRI and Hackensack University Medical Center. The pleasant day on the course was followed by an Italian dinner. Also pictured are Robert C. Garrett, HUMC president & CEO (2nd from left), Lawrence Inserra (back), and DRI's Gary Kleiman (2nd from right). 19 |


Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation National Office 200 South Park Road Suite 100 Hollywood, FL 33021 address service requested

CALENDAR Love and Hope Preview Party November 17, 2011 / FLORIDA Always referred to as the “heart” of Love and Hope, this elegant fete will feature live music, dancing, fine dining and more at the Diplomat Country Club.

Texas Hold'em Tournament December 1, 2011 / LONG ISLAND The Ron Darling Foundation will host the second annual Casino Night at Leonards of Great Neck to benefit the DRI. Champions for Charity December 1-4, 2011 / LONG ISLAND Americana Manhasset holds its annual holiday shopping benefit where over 10 stores donate 25 percent of pre-tax purchases to the DRI Foundation and other not-for-profit organizations. "Fine Jewelers" Re-launch December 7, 2011 / NEW YORK Bloomingdale’s flagship store in NYC

For information on the events or to make reservations, visit or call one of the DRI Foundation offices listed below.

will be re-launching its fine jewelry department after a major renovation. Empire Ball December 14, 2011 / NEW YORK This annual black-tie event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel is the social event of the season for New York City’s real estate industry. Love and Hope Ball February 18, 2012 / FLORIDA South Florida’s signature event will once again thrill its guests with a fabulous black-tie affair and a performance by Barry Gibb at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa. A Gift of Love…A Gift of Hope February 27, 2012 / FLORIDA To be held at The Polo Club in Boca Raton, the 13th annual event, organized by the Palm Beach Auxiliary, will feature a delightful lunch, a unique boutique filled with fashionable items, a raffle and an afternoon of card-playing.

Carnival for a Cure March 11, 2012 / NEW YORK The seventh annual event will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan and feature live entertainment, delicious food, games for tots and teens, super prizes and a fabulous silent auction.

Cooking for a Cure April 2012 / LONG ISLAND To be held at Page One Restaurant, Glen Cove, this tasteful event is provided by the restaurant’s celebrated chef. The evening includes a Chinese auction, sweepstakes drawing and live entertainment.

Kids Party for a Cure March 18, 2012 / LONG ISLAND This afternoon of fun for the entire family at Dave and Buster’s will feature video games, inflatables, face painting and more, plus a buffet dinner for the whole family and a silent auction.

American Fine Wine Competition Gala April 19, 2012 / FLORIDA This fifth annual affair will be held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Guests will taste more than 600 of the finest wines made in the U.S. while enjoying world class food, entertainment, auctions and ambience.

Walk with Walgreens Family Fun Day & Health Fair March 24, 2012 / FLORIDA Walkathons will be held simultaneously at four South Florida locations and feature fun family activities, health booths and more.


is a publication of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. Fall 2011 / Volume 39 / Issue 1

Marketing & Communications Dept. Lori Weintraub, APR Lauren Schreier Natasha Norris Laurie Cummings

Contributors Gary Kleiman Jill Salter Aimee Siegel-Harris Mitra Zehtab, M.D. Stacy Zolotin

Photography DRI / DRIF staff and volunteers MTC Photography-Manny Carabel Marc Levine Photography Sarah Merians Photography & Video Co. Point & Shoot Photography Mitch Schlimer Photos Claude Zick Design Franz Franc Design Group Inc.

The Crystal Ball April 28, 2012 / LONG ISLAND This black tie event will be held at the beautiful Garden City Hotel and feature fabulous food, entertainment and live and silent auctions.

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation supports the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, whose mission is to develop and rapidly apply the most promising research to treat and cure those now living with diabetes. To obtain additional information or request copies of DRIfocus, please call (800) 321-3437 or e-mail, or visit DIABETES RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOUNDATION National Office 200 South Park Road, Suite 100 Hollywood, FL 33021 Phone: (954) 964-4040 Fax: (954) 964-7036

Northeast Regional Office 381 Park Avenue South, Suite 1118 New York, NY 10016 Phone: (212) 888-2217 Fax: (212) 888-2219

Long Island Regional Office 410 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 201 Jericho, NY 11753 Phone: (516) 822-1700 Fax: (516) 822-3570

DRIfocus Newsletter Fall 2011  

Get news on research updates toward a cure for diabetes, exciting events, dedicated donors and volunteers and more!