Get Involved

Fundraising Events

Our special events help raise critical funds for educational programs, advocacy and research while forwarding the mission of the American Diabetes Association: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

For more information regarding any of our events, please contact Amber DeFago at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6567.

Team Diabetes at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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Runners need to supply their own registration fee for the Chicago Marathon.

Bank of America Chicago Marathon
October 8, 2017

For more information, please contact Mahreen Mirza at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6565.

Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes®

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Step Out is the Association's signature fundraising event. On Walk day, we honor our Red Striders (those who are living with diabetes). Step Out is filled with music, food, kids activities, entertainment and most importantly, the company of those who truly understand the impact of diabetes. Join us!

Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes Chicagoland
September 23, 2017 at Didier Farms
September 30, 2017 at Diversey Harbor

For more information, please contact Amber Defago at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6567.

School Walk for Diabetes

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School Walk for Diabetes is an educational school fundraising program that promotes healthy living, school spirit and community involvement. While raising money for the American Diabetes Association, students learn about diabetes and the importance of making healthy choices including eating nutritional foods and exercising every day. The money raised through School Walk for Diabetes helps to fund diabetes research, education, and advocacy in support of the mission of the Association.

For more information, visit or contact Marlie Pykelny at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6562.

Tour de Cure®

Tour de Cure® is the Association's signature cycling event. Routes vary from 10 miles to 100 miles with fully stocked rest stops, full lunch, live entertainment and amazing start and finish energy.

Chicagoland Tour de Cure
June 10, 2018

For more information, please contact Christina Manelli at 312-346-1805 ext. 6568 or

Father of the Year

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Father of the Year is an event that honors outstanding fathers for their ability to successfully balance their professional and personal lives while making an impact in the community.

Chicago Father of the Year Awards
June 15, 2017 - 5:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Mary Sullivan at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6564.


Our Mission Delivery team develops awareness programs, educational events and youth initiatives programs in the Chicagoland area to help educate, increase knowledge about the Association and its events, and help fulfill the Association's mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

For more information regarding any of our programs or corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Amber DeFago at or 312-346-1805 x6567.

American Diabetes Association Camp

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The American Diabetes Association's Camps provide a special time for kids and teens with diabetes to meet others living with the disease their own age. Offered during the summer months, the purpose of the Illinois Camps is to provide a unique recreational and educational experience for children and teens living with diabetes ages 4 to 18.

Camp Confidence - Des Plaines (ages 4 to 9)
Camp Discovery – Glen Ellyn (ages 4 to 9)
Camp Crossroads – Chicago (ages 4 to 9)
Camp Granada – Monticello (ages 8 to 16)
Triangle D Camp – Ingleside (ages 9 to 13)
Teen Adventure Camp – Ingleside (ages 14 to 18)
Camp Can-Do – Palos Park (ages 4 to 9)

For more information about the Illinois Camps, please contact Sean Wilson at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6572.

Family Link

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Family Link is a program that helps families when they need it most—every day. This program makes it possible for families of children with diabetes to meet one another and receive the information and support they need to cope with diabetes. Family Link offers families social and educational events, school advocacy and one on one emotional support for parents through our Parent Mentor program. Through Family Link activities and Parent Mentor volunteers, we are able to offer families hope and help through emotional support, diabetes information, events and activities, and communication regarding other Association activities and resources. View more details about Family Link here.

For more information about Family Link, or to hear about upcoming events, please contact Sean Wilson at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6572.

Teen Team

New in 2017, the Illinois American Diabetes Association will be looking for teens to be leaders in the type 1 diabetes community! These individuals will help us to lead the fight against diabetes. 


  • 14-18 years old through 2017
  • Mature and responsible
  • Outgoing and willing to share your diabetes story in person and/or in writing
  • Must be willing to participate in American Diabetes Association programs and events throughout the year
  • Must have parent permission to accept this role and have photos/information shared on Association collateral, website and social media

Opportunities Include:

  • Attend Association events throughout the year to promote the Association, Camp, and ways to get involved
  • Be a positive role model, including diabetes management, for newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes families
  • Speak at Association programs and events about what it is like to live with diabetes
  • Serve as a media spokesperson for our events and for opportunities as requested
  • Share your story with families impacted by type 1 diabetes and mentor newly diagnosed children
  • Encourage your school to participate in School Walk for Diabetes
  • Write blog posts for the 2017 Illinois Teen Team Blog
  • Form a Family/Friends team (or join the Camp Team!) for Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes or Tour de Cure
  • Encourage others to participate in Association programs/events
  • Be a representative of the Association
  • Be spotlighted on the Association's Family Link Facebook Page
  • Further develop leadership skills

For more information about Teen Team, please contact Sean Wilson at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6572.

American Diabetes Association EXPO

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April 14, 2018
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Chicago EXPO is free and includes health screenings, cooking demonstrations, product and service exhibitors, as well as leading experts talking about diabetes management, research and prevention. Get the latest information on preventing and managing diabetes and its deadly complications to help keep you and your family healthy.

For more information, please visit or contact Danielle Trojanek at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6581.

Health Fairs

Interested in having American Diabetes Association brochures at your event? Please fill out this questionnaire and return to

Do-It-Yourself Fundraising

Whipping up a bake sale?

Hosting a golf event?

Want to use your efforts to support the American Diabetes Association?

We can help! Use our peer-to-peer online fundraising system to get the word out to your friends and family, and give them the opportunity to make an online donation to support your efforts on behalf of the American Diabetes Association.

For more information, please visit the Do-It-Yourself Fundraising webpage or contact Marlie Pykelny at or 312-346-1805 ext. 6562

Young Professional Leadership Council

The American Diabetes Association of Illinois is launching a Young Professional Leadership Council (YPLC), a new program with emerging and proven leaders under 40 years old from all sectors of the business community. YPLC is working to bring the mission of the Association to life with one vision as a guiding force—to work towards a life free of diabetes and all its burdens. As a face of the American Diabetes Association, young professionals offer their multi-faceted skill sets, life experiences, diverse perspectives and the passion to make a difference for the nearly 30 million American children and adults with diabetes.

YPLC is dedicated to strengthening their community through philanthropy and volunteerism:

  • Support the American Diabetes Association and its strategic partnerships, events, fundraisers, advocacy, and community engagements, by integrating the Association's mission into every activity.
  • Grow awareness for the mission. Educate your peers and the community at-large about the impact of diabetes and build awareness of the value of the volunteerism and fundraising.
  • Fundraise and provide fundraising support.
  • Open new doors in the community to gain funding or in-kind support for Association local efforts.
  • Connect with corporate and civic leaders creating a deeper connection within your community and with the Association's partners.
  • Provide professional volunteer support. Support the Association with special projects in the local market including advocacy, program execution/participation, event support and community engagement.
  • Grow a local network of volunteers. Represent professional, geographic and ethnic diversity and all those impacted by diabetes in the community. YPLC builds awareness among the young and civic-minded.

Benefits of YPLC

  • Impact. Collaborate on events and projects that will shape the YPLC program and bring the mission of the American Diabetes Association to life with one vision as a guiding force—to work towards a life free of diabetes and all its burdens.
  • Professional Development. YPLC provides professional, educational, and social opportunities so young professionals can develop real-world leadership and fundraising skills through mentorship programs and events.
  • Network. Join a network of emerging young entrepreneurial and innovative young professionals and build life-long relationships.
  • Access. YPLC bridges generations of leaders engaging young professionals and executives in their communities. YPLC members have exclusive access to the Association's distinguished leaders.

For more information and to get involved, please contact Marlie Pykelny at 312-346-1805 ext. 6562 or

  • Last Reviewed: April 23, 2014
  • Last Edited: October 19, 2017