In honor of National Diabetes Month in November, Thomson Motor Centre will contribute $1 for every Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicle sold to the Iacocca Foundation's JoinLeeNow fundraising campaign to raise money for diabetes research. This partnership will run through the end of 2006.
"Diabetes strikes all demographics, from those living in Thomson, nationally and around the world," said Irvin Grant of Thomson Motor Centre. "We are proud to donate $1 for every Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicle sold, to do our part to help this great cause and find a cure for those suffering from this devastating disease."
Thomson Motor Centre will help the Iacocca Foundation achieve its goal of finding a cure for diabetes, a disease that kills more than 200,000 people in the United States annually and causes health complications including blindness, amputations, heart disease, nerve damage and kidney failure.
The Iacocca Foundation's JoinLeeNow initiative is half way to reaching its goal of funding a clinical trial for a potential cure for type 1 diabetes, a treatment that has been found to successfully cure diabetes in mice.
"I promised my late wife that I would help to find a cure for type 1 diabetes in my lifetime. I feel like we are finally close. I'm very grateful for everything Thomson Motor Centre is doing to help us reach our goal," said Lee Iacocca, Chairman of the Iacocca Foundation.
Launched in August of 2004, JoinLeeNow has raised six of the 11 million dollars it needs to fund a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital that will be conducted by Dr. David Nathan and Dr. Denise Faustman. The first phase of the clinical trial program will test a potential cure for type 1 diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the islet cells of the pancreas, which are the cells in the body that produce insulin. Dr. David Nathan and Dr. Denise Faustman are testing a treatment to stop the immune system's destruction of the insulin-producing cells. Dr. Faustman and other researchers have demonstrated in the lab that once the destruction of the insulin-producing cells is reversed, the body appears to be capable of regenerating these cells.
The clinical trial is based on research by Dr. Faustman that has been almost exclusively sponsored by the Iacocca Foundation for the last six years.
This research has significant implications not only to the future of diabetes treatment, but also to other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.
For more information about the Iacocca Foundation and diabetes, or to make a donation, go to www.joinleenow.org.