Center for Research & Treatment of Childhood Diabetes Expands
The world's premier center for the research and treatment of childhood diabetes is about to get a new $32 million home, tripling its original size and making it the largest pediatric diabetes facility in the country, if not the world.
Just outside of Denver, ground was broken for the long needed center, which has become a worldwide hub for the study of childhood diabetes, a growing problem across the globe. The driving force behind the four-story, 100,000-foot structure is philanthropist Barbara Davis. "The center has existed and served a pressing need for the past twenty-five years," she said. "Now, it's time to start a new chapter in its history, hopefully the last chapter, when all the children of the world will be cured of diabetes."
Located at the Fitzsimons campus of the University of Colorado in Aurora, the largest medical-related redevelopment project in the U.S., The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at Fitzsimons will join other new facilities there, including a children's hospital and cancer treatment center. In recent years, the Denver-based facility, co-founded by Mrs. Davis and her husband, businessman-philanthropist Marvin Davis, has annually treated over 5,000 youngsters for Type 1 diabetes and its symptoms. Over 21,000 infants in the Denver area alone are now tested annually for potential diabetes.
Patients come to the Center from all over the globe. Of late, the existing facility, according to its head researcher, Dr. George Eisenbarth, has been bursting at the seams. "Demand for our services keeps growing, so we grow, too," he says.
Over the years, many dignitaries have sponsored children for visits to the Center for diagnosis and treatment, including Sidney Poitier, Nelson Mandela and Queen Noor of Jordan. The Center's faculty is currently pioneering islet transplantation, development of new islets from stem cells for use in transplantation, the prediction and prevention of type 1 diabetes and the use of continuous glucose monitoring.
Many of the funds that have supported the Center for its first 25 years have come from the world-famous Carousel of Hope gala, held semi-annually in Los Angeles and featuring some of the world's biggest entertainment stars. To date, it alone has raised over $60 million for on-going support of the facility.
Each year, more than 180,000 Americans lose their lives to diabetes and its complications. One in three babies born today will develop diabetes as an adult, shortening their life expectancy by an average of 15 years.#