Proceeds benefit the Diabetes Research Institute
HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kevin McGurgan, who is the British Consul-General in Miami and a father of a child with type 1 diabetes, will begin his mission to run 12 in 2012 in an effort to help the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) find a cure. His first race will be the Publix Tropical 5K (part of the ING Miami Marathon) on Saturday, January 28, and following races will take place throughout Florida and the U.S. McGurgan has a reason to believe that the DRI will find a cure for the millions of people living with diabetes and has designated all of the funds he raises throughout the year to support the Institute's cure-focused research.
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Diagnosed at age 2, McGurgan's son, Michael, 7, doesn't let diabetes stop him from excelling at sports and in school, but he deals with many fears and hardships that a second grader shouldn't have to worry about such as pricking his finger multiple times a day to test his blood sugar level and being connected to an insulin delivery device at all times. Occasionally, Michael poses some heart-wrenching questions, "When will diabetes go away? When will they find a cure?"
"My wife, Vicki, and I have it in our nature to face problems and tackle them as best we can. I knew I wanted to do something. Somewhat inspired by this summer's London Olympics and the opportunity to promote US-UK excellence in scientific research, I saw the opportunity to run 12 in 2012," stated McGurgan, who searched online and found the perfect organization to contribute to right in South Florida.
"We took a tour of the Diabetes Research Institute, and we liked that it was focused on the search for a cure and particularly islet transplantation. It impressed me that the scientists took time out of their busy schedules to meet with us. There was a personal connection," he said. "We were struck by the passion we saw in the people there."
The Diabetes Research Institute is a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and is the most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes. The DRI has an open-door approach to research and collaborates with the top diabetes research facilities around the globe in order to reach a biological cure in the shortest amount of time.
Charged by the task ahead of him, McGurgan joined the DRI Foundation's Diabetes Diplomats program and created his own webpage to raise funds through the support of family, friends and colleagues. In just a few weeks, he has raised more than $1,900 and will be receiving another $500 from Michael's school, which will hold a "Shed your Threads" fundraiser in support of his efforts.
"We have people from all over the world participating in this program, but I'm excited to say this is the first time we've had an actual foreign diplomat serving as a Diabetes Diplomat," said Tom Karlya, vice president of the DRI Foundation who spearheaded this volunteer-driven program. Diabetes Diplomats serve as advocates, educators and event fundraisers in their schools or communities.
"As a father of two kids with diabetes myself, I completely relate to Kevin McGurgan's need to support research for a cure. That's what the DRI is all about," said Karlya.
Supporters can follow McGurgan on his journey of 12 races in 2012 or make a contribution to his efforts at www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/KevinMcGurgan/Run-a-Month2012.
"Diabetes has changed our lives completely," said McGurgan, who is currently a resident of South Miami and also has an older son, Alexander, 9. "I've never done anything like this. I'm just a regular guy who likes to exercise and I decided to take it to another level."
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) is the organization of choice for those who are serious, passionate and committed to curing diabetes. Its mission is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now. The Diabetes Research Institute leads the world in cure-focused research. Having already shown that diabetes can be reversed through islet transplantation, the DRI is building upon these promising outcomes by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies. The Diabetes Research Institute was created for one reason to cure diabetes which is and will continue to be its singular focus until that goal is reached. For the millions of people affected by diabetes, the DRI is the best hope for a cure.
For more information, call 1-800-321-3437 or visit DiabetesResearch.org.
SOURCE Diabetes Research Institute Foundation