Senator Collins Receives Trailblazer Award from JDRF

Click HERE for a high-resolution photo of (left to right) Ellen Leake, Chair of JDRF International Boards of Directors; Senator Collins; Cole Buchanan; Kristen Buchanan; and Derek Rapp, President and CEO of JDRF International


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins received the JDRF Trailblazer Award for her efforts to increase funding for diabetes research and treatment.  Approximately 400 people attended the JDRF One Conference Breakfast – “Your Voice Matters: Amplifying Mission Progress through NIH Research,” including Kristen Buchanan, who serves on the Board of the New England JDRF Chapter; her son Cole Buchanan, who is a former page; and Brian Shankey, the JDRF Executive Director for Maine.


“With the strong support and advocacy of JDRF chapters across the country, I am confident that we will conquer this terrible disease,” said Senator Collins.  “Thank you for this recognition and for your commitment to this great cause.”


“I was delighted to see that Cole Buchanan, a former page of mine, was doing so well managing his Type 1 diabetes and to hear about his new treatment methods,” Senator Collins continued


As the founder and co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, Senator Collins has worked to increase awareness of the threats posed by diabetes, invest in research, and improve access to treatment options. Earlier this year, Senator Collins secured a full two-year reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program in the government funding bill.  The Special Diabetes Program consists of two components: the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research which supports research on the prevention and cure of Type 1 diabetes and its complications; and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians which supports diabetes treatment and prevention strategies for American Indian and Alaska Native populations who are disproportionately burdened with Type 2 diabetes at a rate of 2.8 times the national average.


Sen. Collins has long championed approval and access to artificial pancreas systems, which improve the management of Type 1 diabetes by automatically controlling blood glucose levels. FDA recently expanded approval of the MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system (artificial pancreas) to include children from ages 7 to 13 with Type 1 diabetes.


Since Senator Collins founded the Senate Diabetes Caucus, funding for diabetes research has more than tripled from $319 million in 1997 to $2.02 billion in 2018.


JDRF is the leading global organization funding Type 1 diabetes research. Their mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat Type 1 diabetes and its complications.