Pella Team Members Rally to Help Find a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

July 24th, 2012 by Editor

Nearly a decade ago, the team members of Pella Windows and Doors began actively raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to help find a cure for the autoimmune disease. During the past year, Pella team members across the U.S. and Canada have raised $107,777. Add that to its annual fundraising since 2003, and Pella team members have raised $2,083,411 for the non-profit JDRF to help support type 1 diabetes research.

“Those who live with type 1 diabetes typically take insulin every day just to survive. We know that insulin is not a cure, and that’s why Pella is dedicated to raising money for JDRF to help fund essential research,” says Pella spokeswoman Kathy Krafka Harkema, who donated a kidney to free her mother from dialysis, when her mother’s kidneys failed from type 1 diabetes. “Pella team members proudly raise money for JDRF to make life easier for those with type 1 diabetes and those who care for them.”

Krafka Harkema is one of many Pella employees with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes. Jim Thomas, director of information technology operations at Pella, has a daughter with type 1 diabetes. Thomas is now president-elect of the Greater Iowa JDRF Chapter board of directors.

“Reality sets in very quickly once a loved one is diagnosed with diabetes,” Thomas says. “Life changing is immediate!”

Thomas credits JDRF for its commitment to funding diabetes research. In the more than 40 years the organization has been raising money, type 1 diabetes has become much easier for people to deal with, monitor and control, he said.

“As a parent, you are clearly reminded every day of very real impacts and concerns from this disease. It’s a constant battle wanting to understand and not be overprotective,” he says. “My daughter is 19 years old and does a great job taking responsibility for her health. She understands what it means to her for the long term.”



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