But more importantly, the event is expected to raise $1.5 million for research bolstered by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Georgia chapter and offer the organization’s supporters and those affected by the disease a chance to share and connect.
“It honestly is my favorite night of the year,” said Buckhead resident Andy Cash, who co-chairs the event with his wife Donna as well as Abigail and William Propst. “It’s a room full of family and friends. Everyone is there for a singular purpose. The family networks are just extremely strong, extremely tight and they’re willing to work as hard as they have to until there is a cure.”
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease which requires those afflicted with it to test and regulate their blood sugar with insulin injections or the use of a pump.
Cash has two sons — Gavin, 11, and Liam, 9 — who have been diagnosed with the disease. It requires constant supervision to avoid highs and lows in their blood sugar, which can be affected by factors ranging from diet to stress, Cash said.
“Our boys have to check their blood sugar by pricking their fingers 10 or more times per day,” he said, adding that he and his wife also test their sons’ levels once or twice overnight.
Cash said he is particularly excited about the Artificial Pancreas Project, which the foundation has supported for the past four years and recently received FDA approval for additional trials out of a hospital setting.
The system consists of an insulin pump that communicates wirelessly with a continuous glucose monitor, eliminating the need for constant testing and keeping blood sugar levels more stable.
Clanci Jordan, the foundation’s executive director, said the treatment is “very promising in terms of keeping people healthy until a cure is found. It prevents the highs and lows of diabetes which [over the years] can lead to serious complications.”
Jordan said the gala is a significant event for the chapter, which raises about $4 million annually, 82 percent of which goes to research.
“Really, what makes this event successful are the people who attend. Many of them have a connection to Type 1 diabetes,” she said. “The spirit of giving is in the room and it’s an inspiring thing to participate in.”
If you go
o What: Hope for a Cure Gala
o Where: The InterContinental Hotel, 3315 Peachtree Road, Buckhead
o When: Saturday at 6 p.m.
o Cost: $300
o Benefits: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Georgia chapter
o Information: (404) 420-5996 or www.jdrfgeorgia.org