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2009 Press Release

Boca Raton Couple Go Above and Beyond to Help the DRI Cure Diabetes for Their Son

Hollywood, FL (June, 2009) -- Ellen and Jeffry Ullman are seemingly the neighbors next door – Boca Raton residents married for 22 years, and dedicated parents of two college-age young adults, Zachary and Sasha.

Jeffry’s a 25-year veteran at IBM’s Boca Raton, Florida facility. Ellen is graduating with her Master’s degree in social work at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

Together, they are two of the most dedicated advocates of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

“Our commitment to the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) couldn’t be any more personal. Our son, Zachary, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 15 months old,” Ellen said.

“We are dedicated to cure diabetes for Zachary and everyone else with diabetes, and we will not stop until a cure is found,” added Jeffry.

As a result of Jeffry being an internal IBM advocate, IBM US employees and retirees have donated more than $350,000 to date to the diabetes foundation via IBM’s Employee Charitable Contributions Campaign (ECCC), plus additional funds and thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment through IBM Community Grants.

Likewise, Ellen is a self-made Internet guru who scours the web for the latest news on diabetes research, chats online with other families touched by type 1 diabetes, and spreads the word about the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute.

The Ullmans have been deeply involved with the the diabetes foundation since their son’s diagnosis 20 years ago. After a nationwide search, they found the best hope to cure diabetes was in their own backyard – the Diabetes Research Institute, located at the University of Miami.

Recognized globally as a leader in diabetes research, the Institute is the most comprehensive facility of its kind, housing a myriad of laboratories where scientists focus on cutting-edge methods to restore insulin production. The sole purpose of the DRI Foundation is to support the DRI’s life-saving work.

The Ullmans serve as the DRI Foundation’s Community Outreach Chairpersons. Ellen works on a grass roots level and her reach within the diabetes community spans the entire country and internationally. Jeffry has taken his responsibility to a whole new level by reaching out to the IBM employee and retiree community, locally and nationally.

“IBM supports and deeply believes in the volunteer work of our employees and retirees. Jeffry’s passion and commitment to help cure diabetes is reflected in his long-term commitment to this diabetes foundation. IBM is proud to share in Jeffry’s accomplishments for the DRI Foundation.” Said Rick Qualman, IBM Sales & Distribution, Communications SectorVice President, Strategy & Business Development Telecom Industry, & Senior State Executive for Florida.

IBM’s support originated in 1990 with a Community Grant for $1,800 to underwrite one of the DRI Foundation’s brochures, “Important Facts for School Personnel about Diabetes,” which was distributed throughout South Florida schools. Nearly every year since then, Jeffry has been instrumental in getting the company to provide additional financial grants and donations of products, including desktop PCs, laser printers, and Thinkpads.

Since IBM launched its On Demand Community initiative in 2003 which supports the volunteer efforts of its employees and retirees, Jeffrey has logged more than 450 volunteer hours.

Additionally, IBM is a participating leadership organization in the President’s Volunteer Service Award program. The President's Volunteer Service Award, established in 2003, recognizes American individuals, families and groups who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service. Jeffrey’s volunteer hours allowed him to receive a bronze level award for his community service to the DRI Foundation. The annual IBM Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign (ECCC) and IBM Community Grants are part of a much larger IBM family of On Demand Community Service programs.

Additionally, Ellen and Jeffry volunteer their time at DRI Foundation fundraising events and are dedicated to helping other parents of children with diabetes adjust to life after diagnosis.

“The Ullmans’ commitment to the Diabetes Research Institute and its mission to cure diabetes is unmatched. Jeffry is the impetus that encouraged IBM and its employees to donate so generously, and Ellen is truly a DRI ambassador. She is so entrenched in the diabetes world. Their support is immeasurable,” said Barbara Singer, one of the original founders of the DRI Foundation.

About the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation was founded in 1971 by a small group of parents of children with type 1 diabetes who were committed to finding a cure for this devastating disease. Supported by private philanthropy, the DRI Foundation has been and always will be the organization of choice for those who are serious, passionate and committed to finding a cure for their loved ones. Its sole mission is to support the Diabetes Research Institute.

About the Diabetes Research Institute

The Diabetes Research Institute, a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is a recognized world leader in cure-focused research. Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet transplantation.

From innovations in islet isolation and transplant procedures to advances in cell biology and immunology, the DRI is now harnessing the power of emerging technologies to develop new cell-based therapies to restore insulin production. For the millions of families already affected by diabetes who are looking to the world of science for answers, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure.

Media Contact:
Lauren Schreier
954.964.4040
lschreier@drif.org

 

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