In 1970, parents of children with type 1 diabetes in America organized what has become the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The JDRF’s mission, then as now, has been constant: to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications through the vehicle of research. JDRF has grown to be the world’s largest charitable funder and advocate for type 1 diabetes research. Although based in the USA, JDRF has always supported the best research in type 1 diabetes, wherever it may be. Concepcion Nierras and Robert Goldstein describe the structure and activities of JDRF and preview likely major developments in diabetes research in the near future.