Coral Gables resident Juan Elias Calles, CLU, ChFC, of Union Central Life Insurance Company recently secured a $10,000 grant from the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Foundation on behalf of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
A member of the MDRT for more than 30 years and an active supporter of the DRI for a quarter of a century, Calles nominated and endorsed the application for the grant. The grant will support a research program at the DRI, the best hope for a cure for Calles’ daughter, Ivette Marie Calles, and for millions of others living with diabetes.
Representing the MDRT Foundation, Calles presented the grant to DRI Scientific Director Camillo Ricordi, MD. It will be used to fund a research project titled “Adult Stem Cells for Regeneration of Insulin Producing Cells” and spearheaded by DRI director of Immunobiology of Islet Transplantation and Area Leader of Cell Products and Stem Cell Research Luca Inverardi, MD.
Ever since his daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1985 at age 9, Calles has been a dedicated activist in raising money and awareness for the DRI. He was instrumental in initializing the foundation’s planned giving program and has participated in grassroots street corner collections, known as the Hi-Way Holdup.
For the past two decades, he has been a member of the DRI Foundation’s national board of directors, serving as secretary and as vice president for multiple terms. He also has served on the foundation’s Florida board of directors and currently is a member of its honorary board.
The mission of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now. The Diabetes Research Institute, a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is a recognized world leader in cure-focused research.
Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet transplantation. The DRI now is building upon these achievements by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies to restore insulin production. For the millions of families already affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure.
Visit www.diabetesresearch.org or call 1-800-321-3437 for more information.