Uniting art with science to find a cure for diabetes

The Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee on Cape Cod was the setting for the July 30 Art of the Cure for Juvenile Diabetes fundraiser, orchestrated by the husband and wife team Stephen and Sandy O’Connor. 

More than 60 artists and master craftsmen donated their art and unique crafts for this exciting event, which drew more than 300 people and featured both a silent and live auction hosted by WCVB’s Kelley Tuthill.

The net proceeds, which were almost double the organization’s original projections, will be presented to HSCI Co-Director and keynote speaker Douglas Melton, PhD, and his team of researchers, who are working on finding a cure for type 1 juvenile diabetes. It was apparent that Melton’s work is well known and appreciated by attendees, as he was welcomed to the podium with a lengthy and heartfelt standing ovation.

The O’Connors, whose son has type 1 diabetes, fused the talents and interests of their friends in the Cape Cod art community to form Art of the Cure. But beyond their collective creativity lies a personal and compelling passion: Each member of the board of directors has a child or grandchild with type 1 diabetes. Indeed, the mission of the organization is to “bring the collective and creative talents of the artistic and scientific communities together to help fund and find a cure for type 1 diabetes.” In the research conducted by Melton, who is also the parent of two children with type 1 diabetes, they have found hope.

For the O’Connors and the Art of the Cure team, support for Melton’s research is tactical and expedient—the money is invested directly where it can have the most impact. “Although it’s a heavy burden, those of us who have children with this disease are confident that when a cure is found, Dr. Melton’s contribution will be recognized as central to that discovery,” says Stephen O’Connor. “Let’s hope that day comes soon.”

For more information about Art of the Cure for Juvenile Diabetes, please visit the organization’s website at: www.artofthecureforjuvenilediabetes.org.