JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, announced today the appointment of nine celebrities to its 2016 Celebrity Ambassadors Program.

These new ambassadors are positive role models and leaders in television, music, sports and theater, who share a common passion for JDRF’s mission and a commitment to T1D advocacy.

The JDRF Ambassadors Program is a new initiative designed to help raise awareness about T1D, enhance local and national fundraising efforts for our mission and help better engage the T1D community. One key goal of the program aims to drive awareness for better therapies to help improve the quality of life of those impacted by T1D. The program also aims to inspire adults and children through the personal and compelling stories of each ambassador as they talk openly about managing their career, while overcoming the challenges associated with the disease.

JDRF Ambassadors will lend their talents and their voice to enhance fundraising, advocacy and education efforts in the fight against T1D. National Ambassadors will participate in national multimedia campaigns and special events such as Children’s Congress, an event that brings together children from across the U.S. to Washington, DC to rally in support of Federal Government funding for diabetes research. Similar to National Ambassadors, Regional Ambassadors will make personal appearances and serve as spokespersons at local awareness and fundraising events, and lend their support to traditional and social media campaigns.

JDRF National Ambassadors include: Brec Bassinger, Nickelodeon star of Bella and the Bulldogs; Anne Burrell, celebrity chef and television personality and Adam Schefter, NFL Insider. Regional Ambassadors are Austin Basis, star of CW’s award-winning series, Beauty and the Beast; Jake Byrne, professional football player and author; Conor Daly, IndyCar driver; Brandon Denson, professional football player and sports trainer; Taylor Louderman, star of the Broadway musical, Bring It On and Elliott Yamin, recording artist and American Idol finalist.

“We are excited and honored to have the support of such remarkable role models who share our commitment to achieve a world without type 1 diabetes,” said Derek Rapp, President and CEO of JDRF. “With their collaboration and the power of their voices, these ambassadors can raise awareness for JDRF’s important mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. We respect how they are thriving despite facing the challenges of T1D, and we know their important work will have a positive and lasting impact on millions of people in the T1D community.”

JDRF Ambassadors will begin to collaborate on initiatives immediately, including participation in JDRF OneWalk events and galas during the early fall. In November, they will unite with JDRF to raise awareness during National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM).

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