On October 23rd, JDRF, the leading global organization funding Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) research, will host the San Francisco 2016 One Walk, its annual flagship fundraising effort. The organization’s mission is simple: creating a world without T1D. That lofty goal is remarkably close to being achieved thanks to the dedicated efforts of the JDRF community.
Airbnb’s Senior Manager of Revenue Operations Carlton McMillan is intimately familiar with the disease. His wife Ansley has successfully managed T1D for 27 years, since she was five years old. The technology, he says, is critical in achieving a healthy, active lifestyle. “It was not long ago that if you were diagnosed with T1D, it was highly likely that you would die.”
When the couple began a new chapter in San Francisco, they quickly became evangelists for T1D research and Carlton began spearheading a partnership between Airbnb and JDRF. Additionally, Carlton and Ansley are serving as co-chairs of the Walk committee, managing Walk day logistics, coaching family teams and recruiting new walkers. As a Presenting Partner, Airbnb is generously supporting the Walk at the $25,000 level.
After a decade of research, fundraising and tireless advocacy, a landmark goal was achieved in the T1D community: the artificial pancreas was just approved by the FDA on September 28th. This major breakthrough would not have been possible without the significant funding provided by JDRF over the past ten years, including that directed towards the first artificial pancreas study at Yale. “We’re talking about technological advancements that are literally saving people’s lives every day,” says McMillan. “It feels like we’re on the brink – right on the cusp – of a cure for this disease that affects millions of people, many of them children. That’s why we do this walk, that’s why we raise awareness, that’s why we work hard to these raise funds.”
“I’m fortunate to work at a place where empathy is an integral part of the social fabric of our company,” says McMillan.”When I think about philanthropy and citizenship at Airbnb, it’s really about understanding the different ways that people could use a helping hand to make their lives better, to make their lives easier, to make their lives more enriched.” Driving these types of partnerships and encouraging employees to volunteer is baked into Airbnb’s DNA. As McMillan notes, “You’d be amazed how far something very small goes, whether it’s a couple of hours of volunteer work or a few dollars towards a great cause. If we can find a way to band together to drive something forward, we can move mountains. That’s not just with JDRF and T1D. The possibilities are endless.”