I am constantly torn by who to give my time and money to. I am under constant pressure from all sides to help the ADA, but I can't help but believe that they are a "tool" of corporate interests and have done more harm than good over the years. As a person with diabetes, I often feel like the ADA sees me as a fund raising opportunity rather than someone they should help.
And that feeling runs over to the JDRF. The JDRF was actually created to try to remedy the corruption of the ADA. It was "supposed" to work towards a cure to help us. But in the end, I kinda feel like it also fell into looking at us as primarily sources of money. I get really p*ssed when the few rare times I have called the the ADA or JDRF for help (usually information), all I get is a full court press for my money.
Now truthfully, the ADA is trying to change and the JDRF has made some really visible effort to change. But I consider the whole system "broken." Our government has a compelling societal interest in working towards a "cure," both for T1 and T2. And yet, the current investment by our government into T1 is about $280M. The ADA and JDRF investment (along with other sources) into T1 research is likely greater than our governments contribution. And the organizations like ADA and JDRF are "innefficient," according to one story in 2008, only 35% of the funds given to the ADA actually went to funded programs.
As an individual, we are often unable to give to programs directly. One exception is Denise Faustman. As to whether the JDCA can alter that paradigm, I just don't know. What I will tell you is primarily looking to people with T1 to fund the research into a cure for T1 is Not a solution.
Personally, I consider the funding of research into a T1 (and T2 as well) cure as an inherently govermental function. Why? Because it should involve the redistribution of wealth. The impact on society of diabetes, on the people and the cost to society is at a different place in the ecosystem from where the research needs to take place. Only government has the ability to stretch across that divide and make a rational decision to redistribute the wealth. Diabetes eats up more than 10% of all health costs and the costs are growing. Yet the total outlays for diabetes research represents about 3% of health research budgets.
So, I am torn. I give money to charities that I beleive are trying to do a good job (including the DHF) and I give to charities that not only work towards a cure, but also to help us patients. And yes, I even give to the ADA. But I am not happy, and I am most unhappy with the current system where the ADA and JDRF have too large a role and the governement won't step up to do it's job.