Children's Diabetes Foundation (CDF)

Supporting the Barbara Davis Center

The Children’s Diabetes Foundation (CDF) began in 1977 shortly after the youngest daughter of Barbara and Marvin Davis was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. When Mrs. Davis called her husband from pediatrician Jules Amer’s office, Mr. Davis’ first words were “fix it!” Thus began a journey that has led to undreamed of strides in diabetes care and research over the decades to follow.

At that time the family lived in Colorado, but there was no facility in the Rocky Mountain region specifically for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Mr. and Mrs. Davis flew their daughter to the Joslin Clinic in Boston and were impressed by Joslin’s specialized care and the kindness of their staff. Mrs. Davis was inspired to take action. 

On the plane ride home she began formulating her vision to create a center in Denver for children with diabetes: the center would be for all children with this disease; no child would be turned away due to inability to pay; the center would have the best from the world of medicine and science.

This was her vision and it has all come to pass. Marvin Davis gave $1.5 million to build the center asking that it be named the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes to honor his wife. The University of Colorado and Children’s Hospital Colorado have both supported the work of the foundation and the center since inception. 

Mrs. Barbara Davis stated at the Center’s dedication ceremony that the Children’s Diabetes Foundation “is based on love and caring and that strong base will help us to continue to live, to share, to build and to learn.”

The mission of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation is solely to fund programs of clinical care, research and education at the Barbara Davis Center. Mrs. Davis envisioned the CDF logo while watching her daughter ride a carousel horse. The logo symbolizes a child with diabetes riding the carousel, reaching for the brass ring – the cure. Today the Barbara Davis Center cares for more than 6,000 children and adults from across the nation and around the world.

Mrs. Davis began fundraising with a passion in 1977 and continues to do so to this day. With her incredible talent for bringing people together, she has garnered the support of corporations and individuals from Denver, Hollywood, New York and worldwide. More than $75 million has been raised since 1978 from The Carousel Ball, The Carousel of Hope and other events and programs of the CDF to help sustain the important and life-saving care, research and education programs at the BDC.

The Guild of the Childrens’s Diabetes Foundation, founded in 1979, also offers BDC a broad range of support. This dedicated volunteer support group provides patients and their families assistance in times of dire need through Helping Hands, gives scholarships to BDC patients, provides community and state-wide diabetes awareness and sponsors events such as the acclaimed Brass Ring Luncheon and Fashion Show, the High Hopes Golf Tournament and an annual diabetes-friendly Halloween party for BDC youngsters.

For more information, please visit the Children’s Diabetes Foundation website at  ​

The Children's Diabetes Foundation also publishes several different materials to help educate patients and their families. Please visit the CDF Publications page for more information: