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Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Public Health, Specifically Named Diseases

Mission: Our mission is simple- we save lives every day! The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi (DFM) is the state's premier nonprofit health organization working to prevent diabetes and associated complications as well as work to improve the lives of every child, adult, and every family touched by type 1 or type 2 diabetes. We accomplish this through education, support, advocacy, medical assistance and research.

Results: In 2020: 173 patients received emergency insulin, blood glucose testing supplies or diabetic shoes. Two virtual sessions (via ZOOM) of Camp Kandu took place with 65 children enjoying a day of arts and crafts, science experiments, games and a singalong around the virtual campfire! 180 kids and teens received our "We Care 2" backpacks filled to the brim with important BG testing supplies, snacks to treat the highs and lows of diabetes, information for parents/guardians, COVID information and masks plus happies for the kids including our toy yellow lab puppy mascot, Sugar! 26 schools received the DFM's emergency supply boxes with BG meters and test strips, information on managing diabetes at school, supplies to treat high and low BG plus important information for school and daycare staff. Four schools also took part in a virtual "Sweet Subject" school diabetes education program. Over 400 people received important information on managing diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic including information on safe grocery shopping, wearing masks and sick day care.

Target demographics: every child, every adult and every family touched by diabetes!

Direct beneficiaries per year: We visited over 100 children, newly diagnosed in the UMMC Batson Hospital and brought them our We Care pack, we assisted over 390 patients with emergency medicine, trained 300 school nurses and much more!

Geographic areas served: throughout the state of Mississippi

Programs: Research, Education, Advocacy, Children's Programs, Helping Hands (REACH) We operate Camp Kandu, a camp for children and their families, to become more educated about managing diabetes while the children ages 3-12 make new friends and learn about diabetes; We help the uninsured with lifesaving diabetes medicines; we conduct CME programs for physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and other health professionals; we hold a Super Conference for patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and bring in nationally renowned speakers to provide the latest in diabetes management and much, much more!

Community Stories

97 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

The DFM is hands down the best organization! They help tons of families, including mine, when we need it the most. They go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure you are taken care of and have everything you need. We would not be where we are today without their help.

Kim Kuhn

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These folks help TONs of kids in Mississippi. I've had great interactions with them at local diabetes walks.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful foundation that makes a big difference!!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a diabetes doctor serving mostly poor children in Mississippi. Countless times, DFM has stepped in for my vulnerable patients to meet their needs for medication, supportive services, and community and personal education. I couldn't do my job without them! My patients and their families sing their praises!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have learned from volunteering at the DFM that if each of us were to do SOMETHING, we could make a monumental difference, one by one, step by step, heart by heart. My work as a volunteer at the Diabetes Foundation has been encouraging, to say the least. There is great satisfaction being a part of something larger than myself, knowing that in some small way I have contributed to helping to educate and provide resources to those that are struggling to live with diabetes successfully. Access to and distribution of printed materials has allowed me to share encouragement with others who are facing such a difficult, life altering diagnosis. When I started volunteering my thought was simply to go and help out with some "office work". Never could I have imagined that I would personally gain so much! From day one I was meeting people whom I knew were expressing a genuine interest and concern with others well-being. Both physically and emotionally. I know what that feeling is all about! A good friend, who works for the organization, suggested that I consider doing some volunteer work that would use the abilities I already had and at that time they were incredibly short handed. The seed she planted gave me the desire to reach out and discover there was something I could do that might make a difference somehow... and in a very enjoyable work environment! The new personal relationships with employees and other volunteer workers has been an unexpected blessing! It has allowed me to also use my abilities to educate and aid folks in the diabetic community, whether they be caregivers or patients. I was born with Juvenile Diabetes (type I), as well as, a heart condition and had recently found myself somewhat mobility challenged due to the long term effects of the diseases. I couldn't drive or work a regular 9 to 5 and was feeling confined and depressed. By teaching me to reach out effectively to others they have helped me to enrich and better my own life! The staff at DFM are some of the most caring and generous people that I have ever met! I hope to continue to volunteer with the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi as long as I am able... and encourage others to volunteer with this most worthy organization!

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our 18 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 4 and the DFM has been a part of our management team for over 14 years! They have provided early education through programs like Camp Kandu and been a confidant with school advocacy and education with the Sweet Subject School Education Program and other information. The DFM does not just have staff, it has caring and knowledgeable people who are friends and allies for diabetes. Whenever we need them, we know that all we have to make is one phone call. Our son recently received a grant from the DFM Doyle Warrington Memorial Diabetes Alert Dog Fund. Purchase of his diabetic alert dog would not have been possible without DFM! An overall fantastic non-profit organization.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Kristi Pennington Shanks, and I am 29 years old. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 12. Soon after my diagnosis, I became connected with the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. DFM has helped educate and counsel my family and I through many situations associated with this disease. Not only was the staff available in times of need, but they treated me like I was a part of their team. They have always had a genuine care for all of their members. For the past 17 years, the DFM has been by my side through several major events in my life such as: college, marriage, pregnancy, kidney failure, and most recently kidney/pancreas transplant. It's so nice to have skilled professionals at the DFM that I consider "family" to provide advice, support, and direction. The DFM has been with me every step of my walk throughout life with diabetes (which hasn't always been easy) from my childhood to now my motherhood. I am very thankful for them for caring, loving, and providing comfort to my family and I throughout my ups-and-downs of life with diabetes.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Susan Ford, and I can say without reservation, that The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi is the greatest charitable organization I've ever had the pleasure of working with. When my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 4, they were there to answer every question and concern I had. Not only were they there for us right after my son's diagnosis, but they continued to be a wonderful support system over the years. I always felt that I could pick with the phone and call them with any questions. Even after we moved out of state, we stayed in touch, as I felt like they had become part of the family. Every single person in the office is knowledgeable, kind and helpful. I just wish they would relocate to Virginia!

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The DFM is one of the most caring organization I have encountered. Its' team of highly skilled professionals goes above and beyond to help people and their families with diabetes. Their compassion, understanding and passion for service is extraordinary. The programs and services offered are tailor made for the various needs throughout the different parts of the state. Highly networked within the medical community, they have a referral network that is unsurpassed. Mississippi is lucky to have such a unique organization to serve its' citizens.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi, my name is Kaitlan Sudduth. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 9 and will turn 21 this month. Dealing with this disease in general is tough enough, but having a support system and people who actually know what it means to have Type 1 makes the journey a little more bearable. The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi has given me both and continues to be a special part of my life. One of the best things about this organization is that the staff genuinely cares about the people it helps. DFM is special in that it also cares about people being educated about diabetes, and much of the Foundation's efforts goes toward this. This emphasis on education is important because it is what helps those with diabetes and their families to know how to battle this disease in daily life. Another thing DFM gives is the opportunity to make connections with others who have diabetes, and this is especially helpful to the newly diagnosed. A certain peace of mind comes about when one can relate to another about something as physically and emotionally trying as diabetes. Although I could never fully express my thankfulness to the Diabetes Foundation of MS, I do extend my thanks. Thank you for giving me and so many others hope in knowing no one is alone in this journey.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed Type 1 two years ago. The diagnosis was initially so overwhelming, I could barely breathe. I was fortunate to be referred to the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. They provided education, support and a shoulder to cry on. In addition, I was given info on the camp they do, Camp Kandu. The camp was incredible. My son felt "normal" there for the first time since diagnosis. The Camp includes activities and education for the entire family. I cannot say enough about what a great job this group does.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Words cannot begin to express what all the DFM has done not only for my family, but for others all over the state of MS. When my daughter was diagnosed 13 months ago, they immediately stepped in to help us and have been like family ever since. They truly care about everyone and there is nothing they will not do to help out. My daughters school had never had a diabetic child until her and the DFM came out and trained them on how to care for her. Twice a year they have Camp Kandu which is a phenomenal event that we look forward to each year! I have worked with many organizations, but none top the work and care that Mary and Irena do with the DFM and we are forever grateful for them!

6 Kristen17

Client Served

Rating: 5

Words cannot fully express how much this organization has meant to us since my daughter's Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis in 2010 at the age 4. They have helped us train day care staff with their Sweet Subjects Program, provided us with the information we needed to care for my DD through the Diabetes Super Conference and Camp Kandu, they helped make sure we had test strips while fighting with insurance for coverage, and have given my DD a chance meet other kids and watch them live life to the fullest. I cannot imagine having to go through this journey without them!

Previous Stories
7

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were overwhelmed when our then four year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes several years ago, but the Diabetes Foundation of MS came to our rescue. They helped provide test strips when we had to pay out of pocket while we got insurance to approve additional strips and have trained multiple day cares and summer programs so that they could properly care for our daughter. In addition, we love Camp Kandu and the Diabetes Super Conference which gives my daughter a chance to meet other kids like her and us a chance to benefit from the experience of other parents and other experts. I am not sure I would have the confidence I have in dealing with my daughter's condition if it wasn't for the programs and help provided by the DFM.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter Reagan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at three years old. It was a tumultuous time for our family, to say the least. I was put in touch with the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, & almost from the moment we brought Reagan home from the hospital they have been an invaluable resource. The DFM mailed Reagan a backpack full of diabetic supplies, information for parents, & a neat cookbook that's come in handy. When we were ready to switch from daily injections to an insulin pump, the DFM mailed me information on various pump options, & they opened their facilities to us when we met with the pump trainer. The past eight months have been an incredible period of adjustment for our family, & the support we've received from the DFM has been amazing.

Anna Zeigler

8

Advisor

Rating: 5

Mississippi is inundated with diabetes. The Mississippi Diabetes Foundation is a locally run, locally funded non-profit organization which aims to improve the lives of all Mississippians struggling with diabetes of any type. All monies raised are spent within the state and not siphoned off to a national office. This group is a model for how other states and communities should organize themselves to combat chronic diseases in the 21st century. I have been involved with the group for over 4 years and could not recommend them more highly.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

DFM has been a blessing to our family and our community. They are there for us everytime we need them. More than willing to go to any length to help us. We are blessed to have such helpful knowlegeable staff at DFM

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

They are extremily hard working people. They are always out in schools , churchs and other places to educate and identify high risk people that may have or could have diabeties. They do this on a very controlled budget with little overhead.. Hardest working non-profit I have ever been associated with..

6 Marsha10

Advisor

Rating: 5

DFM provides a strong and much need service to the people of Mississippi. Those affected with diabetes have a knowledgeable and compassionate resource where they can gain information and support in managing their disease. Thousands of lives have been changed for the better through the education, awareness, and outreach of DFM. Until there's a cure, there is DFM.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DFM always does everything first class. Mississippians are fortunate to have such knowledgeable staff at DFM. Their conferences, workshops, and fundraisers are second to none. The lives they touch daily are blessed by their caring spirit. To know that the funds raised by their tireless efforts stay in MS is truly what sets them apart from others.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with DFM for several years. Diagnosed with Type I in 1960, I've witnessed many benefits provided by DFM to individuals with diabetes and their families also. DFM provides educational information to families after being diagnosed, many times while still in hospital. Each year DFM provides a camp for children with diabetes which is staffed by drs and nurses so the parents know their child is being cared for. Annually, DFM hosts a "Super Conference" with experts from all over the USA making presentations to everyone interested in learning how to improve diabetes management. Vendors are on hand to show new items and answer questions. Also, annually they provide one or more continuing education programs for diabetes health care professionals. Throughout the year, diabetes educations programs are conducted to schools, colleges, fire departments, law enforcement and civic groups. DFM assists the needy in securing insulin and testing supplies and has recently added the allert dogs to this list. DFM is made up primarly of volunteers which enables about 90% of funds raised to go directly toward benefiting people with diabetes in Mississippi. Thank you for allowing me to provide a review. Frank Cockerham

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am from a family where diabetes and cardiovascular disease runs rampant. I moved to Mississippi 11 years ago and saw the tremendous burden of Diabetes in communities across the state. Both adults and children were affected. I later went on to lead the Medicaid Program for the State of Mississippi as Executive Director. When I needed additional resources for my beneficiaries, the ONLY entity in the state that I could consistently count on was the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. After leaving the Medicaid Program, I joined the Board of Directors of the Foundation. I returned to the University of Mississippi Medical Center and founded an Institute focused on eliminating Health Disparities across the state. Through the Institute, we have funded many successful projects with the Diabetes Foundation. The most significant project is the Annual Superconference which brings together hundreds of lay people from across the state to find out what is new on learning to prevent and live with if necessary Diabetes. In addtiona, I've found that the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi is the ONLY organization addressing Diabetes in which 100% of funds remain in the state to help the people of Mississippi. As a funder, I've found that critically important. Finally, the fiscal prudence of the Diabetes Foundaton's staff is beyond reproach! I will continue to support their tremendous efforts in any way I can.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

Bottom line....all funds raised stay right here to help those in need, be it screening or medecine needs.