Lee Iacocca’s legacy will mostly likely ride on the Dodge Caravan, the Mustang, the K-Car, or maybe even the Ford Pinto. But in his later years, Iacocca has dedicated himself to a far more personal and weighty cause—a cure for type 1 diabetes. His foundation just put out its latest call for new research proposals.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in North Carolina, where nearly one in 10 adults suffer from the disease and annual costs of care are rapidly rising. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, which focuses on health issues in the state, is working to fight that epidemic — giving $3.5 million to the cause in 2012.
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is focused on Type 1 (“juvenile”) diabetes in a big way. Its giving goes to research toward a cure, technology for care, and programs for patients. Together these causes receive millions every year from the organization, which is relatively young and growing fast.
In 2010, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation created the Together on Diabetes initiative, a program focused on improving the health of type 2 diabetes patients across the United States.
Thus far the program has disbursed nearly half of its coffers in two years of existence, so there are plenty of grants still to go around. Of the 21 given out so far, most are above $200,000, with several topping $2 million.
Two-thirds of American children are overweight or obese, and the rise in childhood obesity has been accompanied by an marked increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children. The Dell Foundation focuses on addressing the causes of these health issues to prevent them from happening in the first place.