Bag of Hope, T1D Care Kit, and Mentor Program

Each year more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the U.S. alone.  JDRF continues to work to expand its efforts to better support people of all ages and at all stages with the disease and provide them with the information and support necessary to live well with T1D.

The following resources are available:

Bag of Hope
The Bag of Hope Program, graciously underwritten by Roche Diagnostics Corporation, is a complimentary Outreach Program designed to provide information and support to families with children who have been newly diagnosed with T1D. A dedicated volunteer delivers the Bag of Hope, a care package of information to help families cope with a new diagnosis and learn more about diabetes management and JDRF. A Bag of Hope contains a variety of educational and comforting support materials–some geared to the child, and some geared to their caregivers–the most popular of which is Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes, but also includes a support video, children’s books, and an Accu-Chek® Blood Glucose Meter.

Understanding the time surrounding diagnosis is difficult, JDRF is committed to working through its network of volunteers to help new families manage this sudden reality. If desired, JDRF staff pairs the newly diagnosed family with a volunteer in their area, and, if possible, with a volunteer whose child with T1D is the same gender and either the same age currently or was the same age at diagnosis. The volunteer will then contact the family to arrange a convenient time to meet, deliver the Bag of Hope, and get acquainted.

If you live in eastern or central Massachusetts and would like to receive a Bag of Hope, please complete our online Bag of Hope request form, download the Bag of Hope request form, or contact Nichole Messier at (781) 431-0700 or nmessier@jdrf.orgIf you live outside this area, please contact your local JDRF Chapter.

T1D Care Kit
The T1D Care Kit was created as part of an effort to ensure that all individuals newly diagnosed with T1D receive the information and support necessary to adjust to life with this disease. JDRF has found the Bag of Hope to be extremely beneficial to families of newly-diagnosed children with T1D, and is hopeful that the T1D Care Kit will be just as valuable to newly-diagnosed adults.

The new T1D Care Kit is a sling-style bag that includes important resources and information to educate, support, and inspire individuals ages 16 and above who have been diagnosed with T1D in the last year.  In collaboration with JDRF’s generous sponsors—Bayer Healthcare, Medtronic and Novo Nordisk—the kit is now available free of charge.

If you live in eastern or central Massachusetts and would like to receive a T1D Care Kit, please complete our online T1D Care Kit request form, download the T1D Care Kit request form, or contact Nichole Messier at (781) 431-0700  or  If you live outside this area, please contact your local JDRF Chapter.

Mentor Program
JDRF can connect anyone looking for support with a trained mentor.  Mentors are the voice of experience and hope for anyone who is newly diagnosed or dealing with any life stage changes, including starting school, teenage years, college, adulthood, relationships and marriage, pregnancy and children, and workplace issues. Volunteers in these positions share their personal experiences, answer non-medical questions, lend valuable, specialized support to individuals and families with T1D, and serve as ambassadors of JDRF.  To be connected with a mentor, please complete our online mentor request form or contact Nichole Messier at (781) 431-0700  or

Become a Volunteer/Mentor
If you would like to be considered to deliver Bags of Hope or T1D Care Kits, or become a mentor, please complete the volunteer sign-up form. Volunteers in these positions are required to attend a training.  In addition, we ask that you or your child has been living with T1D for at least one year. Please contact Nichole Messier at (781) 431-0700 or for more information and to learn how you can help.