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 act. 

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 life. Marvin Davis built the center asking that it be named the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes (BDC) to honor his wife. In 1978, Marvin Davis generously provided funds for the construction of the building.

Mrs. Barbara Davis stated at the Center’s dedication ceremony “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 University of Colorado, and Children’s Hospital Colorado, have both supported the work of the foundation and the center since inception. The Center was opened in 1980 at the Ninth Avenue campus in Denver and was expanded in 1983, 1986, and 1994. In May 2005, The Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes relocated to a new building within the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado.

The mission of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation is solely to fund programs of clinical care, research, and education at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes. 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 8,000 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 $115 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 Children’s Diabetes Foundation, founded in 1979, also offers the 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 & Fashion Show, and an annual diabetes-friendly Halloween party for BDC youngsters.

For more information, please visit the Children’s Diabetes Foundation website at:  ‚Äč


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:



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