Foundation DON marks its 10th anniversary. In those 10 years, we have achieved a lot thanks to our donators. But we’re not there yet. That is why DON is helping to make new groundbreaking research possible into curing diabetes type 1. The goal of the research is the application of a new transplantation method for patients with diabetes type 1.
The forces of multiple Dutch top institutes are bundled for this research, thanks to which there is a high likelihood that we can translate it to the patient within five years. The expectations of this unique collaboration are very encouraging! Help us finance this research, support DON. Read more about the research here.
DIABETES TYPE 1
What is diabetes?
Diabetes means that the glucose level in the blood is higher than normal. This leads to various complaints and even to complications that can be lethal eventually. Depending on the type (type 1 or type 2), diabetes can be treated with a diet, blood glucose lowering tools and insulin. This is far from a solution.
Diabetes type 1
Diabetes type 1 is an auto-immune disease. Due to an error in the immune system, the cells that produce insulin (beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas) are destroyed. As a result the beta cells produce no or hardly any insulin. It is still not completely clear what the precise cause of diabetes type 1 is. Genetic susceptibility plays a (relatively small) role and probably also environmental factors, such as diet and infections.
Diabetes type 1 can arise at any age, but usually occurs among children and young adults. Because insufficient insulin is produced, people with diabetes type 1 must inject insulin daily.
Diabetes type 2
Diabetes type 2 is developed by a combination of decreased sensibility for insulin and a decreased function of the Islet of Langerhans. As a result, the body lacks the insulin to properly process glucose, causing the glucose level in the blood to rise. Risk factors for the development of diabetes type 2 are, among others, genetic susceptibility, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, overweight and aging.
Initially, people with diabetes type 2 can control the diabetes fairly well with lifestyle advice (healthy diets, sufficient exercise), but on the short or long term, tablets and/or insulin are often necessary
He was only two years old when we heard he had diabetes type 1. He hated the insulin injections. Floris thought: if I don’t eat, I won’t need that nasty needle. We understood him very well, but couldn’t help him. How do you explain to a child that sometimes he really should eat and other times he really shouldn’t? We felt so utterly powerless.
Facts and figures type 1 diabetes
- In The Netherlands, 100,000 people have type 1 diabetes
- About 12,000 children until the age of 20 have type 1 diabetes
- Besides asthma, diabetes type 1 is the most common chronic disease under children
- One in two people with diabetes type 1 have chronic complications
Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured. It is a chronic disease for which a cure still has not been found. The closest thing to curing it is transplanting the pancreas or the insulin-producing beta cells. But only a very small amount of patients are eligible for this. If you have type 1 diabetes, you can have sugar. Diabetes may be commonly called ‘sugar disease’ in Dutch, but this does not mean that people with diabetes type 1 cannot have any sugar at all. Type 1 diabetes is unrelated to overweight. Even the thinnest people can get diabetes type 1. People with type 1 diabetes have high odds of complications. Diabetes can have a destructive effect on the body, especially on the large blood vessels, kidneys, eyes and nerves. The chances of complications increase the longer people have the disease. World Diabetes Day. Every year on November 14, World Diabetes Day is celebrated on the occasion of the birthday of Frederick Banting who, in 1922, together with Charles Best, formed the basis for the discovery of Insulin.
In the lab, fundamental diabetes research
By investing in fundamental scientific research, we hope that one day diabetes will be a thing of the past. The research projects we support are carried out by top researchers in renowned laboratories worldwide. Unlike other organizations, an important part of our strategy is to commit to long-term agreements to give researchers sufficient time to fundamentally test their hypotheses
From the perspective of the patient, a cure means no longer having to administer insulin to yourself, no longer having to worry about your glucose values, and being able to look to the future without fear of complications. That is our objective and we are hard at work to make this possible in the future. I think we are on the right track.
Expertisecentrum Bètacel Bescherming [Expertise Centre Beta Cell Protection]
In 2008, Prof. Bart Roep Ph.D. founded the Expertisecentrum Bètacel Bescherming. Its researchers have spent the past five years modifying the immune system and developing a treatment for type 1 diabetes. Read more
The Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, which specializes in developmental biology and stem cells, has wide experience in specific culture systems for stem cell research. For the research into a cure for diabetes, all this experience is of great added value Read more
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
The DON Foundation has supported the Diabetes Research Centre at the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels since 2012. With an annual contribution we are funding the research by Prof. Harry Heimberg Ph.D. until 2016. The aim of the research is to study the beta cell mass and to improve its efficiency. Read more
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Since late 2011, we have been supporting Prof. Yuval Dor, one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of diabetes. The DON Foundation supports research into the processes involved in ageing and demise of beta cells and attempts to find out how beta cells “decide” to divide. Read more
Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
In the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) fundamental research is carried out into the improvement of islet transplantation, and into the formation of new islets from human progenitor and stem cells. Read more
Dutch academic top institutes (Maastricht University, Leiden University Medical Center, the Hubrecht Institute and Eindhoven University of Technology) join forces. Together, they develop a new therapy for curing diabetes type 1. Innovative developments from scientific research are combined to find a solution for diabetes type 1. Read more
Join us in our battle
For a decade the DON Foundation has led the fight for finding a cure for diabetes type 1. We can do it with the help of donors, sponsors, volunteers and ambassadors. The fact that the DON Foundation actually makes a significant contribution to the global fight against diabetes type 1, is a huge compliment for everyone who supports the foundation.
Become a volunteer
As a professional organization, we incur costs, which is only to be expected. But we do try to minimize these costs, which means we can use all the help we can get.
Want to organize personal activities to raise funds or by linking the DON Foundation to an event? This is always an option. We like to join you in your ideas about goals, marketing & PR.
Shop to stop! DON Webshop is the shop that helps towards a cure. This unique concept offers diabetics the opportunity to order their diabetes products online, thereby contributing directly to the cure of their own disease, diabetes.
A contribution from all purchases made in the DON Webshop is allocated to fundamental research.
DON Magazine is a human interest magazine with impressive stories and special reports on diabetes. DON Magazine gives us plenty of space to highlight all aspects of the illness that is diabetes; it tells the story from patient to scientist.
This magazine is made possible by top photographers, the best stylists and renowned editors who all donate their services. In addition, as a loyal partner of the DON Foundation, Novo Nordisk plays an important part in the realization of this magazine. As have the many advertisers who show their trust in the DON Foundation, time and time again.
Not just plasters, but a complete cure
The Stichting Diabetes Onderzoek Nederland [Diabetes Research Foundation Netherlands], DON for short, was founded in 2006 by Maarten de Gruyter with a clear goal: to cure diabetes type 1. Because, even though diabetes is curable, the disease cannot yet be cured. The complications are far-reaching, from blindness and amputations to heart and kidney failure. Ironically, more is invested in making everyday life more comfortable for patients, than in finding the real solution: a complete cure.
We started foundation DON because we were looking for something in the diabetes world that we could not find. I thought that there should be a group of people concerned only with curing it. Both then and now, much more money is going towards care than to cure. That surprised me. At DON, every cent goes to cure.
The largest misunderstanding is the perception that diabetes type 1 is something you can easily live with. A problematic misunderstanding. That is why it is my mission to make people realize how serious this disease is. That is a challenge, because when they see me, they think it is not so bad. But something they cannot see is that my eyes are gradually deteriorating.
The people behind DON
The activities of the DON Foundation are coordinated by three enthusiastic employees from their office in Amsterdam; a small yet passionate team. The board members, members of the Supervisory Board and the Scientific Council all work on a voluntary basis. The ambassadors of the DON Foundation know how debilitating diabetes type 1 is and how important it is that sound research is carried out, and they too commit voluntarily.
Maarten de Gruyter
Job van Dooren
PR & communications
Karin van Leeuwen
Noëlle Viguurs-van Gelder
prof. mr. J.G. (Jaap) de Hoop Scheffer
mr. M.P. (Marc) Schröder
H.M.N. (Heleen) Dura - van Oord
drs. M.J.M. (Maxime) Verhagen
H.A.A. (Arnold) de Haan
P.F. (Peter Frans) Pauwels
dr. K.P. (Paul) Bouter
drs. N.C. (Nienke) Miltenburg
prof. dr. H.J.G. (Henk) Bilo
drs. M.E. (Mark) Seubert
prof. dr. R.O.B. (Rijk) Gans
prof. dr. E.J.P. (Eelco) de Koning
Jan Douwe Kroeske
Dominique van Hulst
Alexander Rinnooy Kan
1033 MZ Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 630 65 35