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History of Support

How the DRI Began

It started with a small group of parents in South Florida, in 1971.

Their children had diabetes. Some were suffering from the devastating complications of the disease.

The parents were focused on a single goal: to find a cure. They discovered promising research underway at the University of Miami – a pioneering program focused on islet cell transplantation. They dedicated their lives to funding it.

Over the years, the Foundation grew and, in 1984, formed a close relationship with the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.

Comprehensive Facility

The men and women of the unions made a historic commitment – to fund, and then to build -- the most comprehensive diabetes research facility in the world.

In 1994, the Diabetes Research Institute’s new building – part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine complex -- became a reality.

Dramatic Growth

Over the last decades, our diabetes organization has increased its fundraising, and the number of supporters around the country has grown exponentially.

We have opened offices in other parts of the country, assembled regional boards of directors and expanded our fundraising initiatives nationally, and now, even internationally.

Today, our diabetes foundation has evolved into a coalition of caring parents, business leaders, families, celebrities, scientists, clinicians and other concerned individuals who support the DRI's efforts to find a cure. Why such growth?

The Organization of Choice

People affected by diabetes today are more knowledgeable about research – as a result, more aware of the DRI's achievements -- and they want to be a part of it.

They’re taking a close look at where their donations go. They want to be sure their money is making a difference -- and know they are personally helping to advance research. They can see and feel this at the DRI.

In short, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) has become the diabetes organization of choice for those who are serious, passionate, and committed to the original mission of the founding parents: to find a cure for those living with diabetes.

Barry Gibb and Arthur Ashe
An early fundraiser with music superstar Barry Gibb and tennis legend Arthur Ashe.

Construction of the Diabetes Research Institute
Building the DRI, in the early 90s.


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© 2016 Diabetes Research Institute Foundation - National Office: 200 S. Park Road, Suite 100, Hollywood, FL 33021 - (954) 964-4040

Miller School of Medicine