The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes is one of the largest diabetes institutions in the world. Located in Aurora, Colorado, the Center specializes in type 1 diabetes research for both children and adults. Through the Center, treatment is provided to pediatric and adult patients through the use of clinics.
The Center also focuses on educating families and patients about type 1 diabetes and its treatment. The center also focuses on education for medical professionals. Physician assistants and medical students can choose elective rotations at the Center.
In 1978, the center was funded by Marvin Davis and opened in 1980 in Denver. The center is supported by the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, which was founded in 1977 by Barbara and Marvin Davis. In 1980, the Center opened at the Ninth Avenue campus in Denver and moved in 2005 to the Anschutz Medical Campus, where it’s still located.
Barbara and Marvin Davis were inspired to start the Foundation and Center after their daughter Dana was diagnosed with diabetes when she was seven years old. Though the Davis’ had the money to get the proper care for their daughter, there was no way to cure her disease. After seeing how diabetes affected Dana, Barbara wanted to create a center where no one would be denied care.
The Center provides care to 80 percent of children in Colorado with type 1 diabetes, and 2000 adults living in the Rocky Mountain Region. Since it was founded, the Foundation has raised almost $100 million to support diabetic research and treatment.
Donations to the Foundation go directly to supporting care and research at the Center. Currently, the Center is working on 81 research projects that are aimed at increasing knowledge about diabetes and its effect on the body.
One current research project at the Center is stem cell researchers making insulin-producing beta cells that are derived from human stem cells. The Center is one of only a few labs in the world that are capable of this.
One of the Foundation’s largest fundraisers is the biennial Carousel of Hope Ball. Founded in 1978, the event is black-tie and invitation-only. In 2017, the 31st Ball was held and raised $1.65 million and featured a performance by Lenny Kravitz.