We sat down with former Board of Trustees member Stefany Shaheen to learn about her relationship with Joslin Diabetes Center, her involvement in the community, and how vital philanthropy is to research and care at the world-renowned diabetes center. Stefany also shares what inspired her to run Boston’s ultimate race—an incredible 26.2 miles—and raise funds for Joslin.

Can you share how your relationship with Joslin started and how it has grown over time?
My relationship with Joslin began 16 years ago when my eldest daughter, Elle, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. From day one, Joslin took great care of Elle and our entire family, instilling all of us with hope for her future. Working so closely with the staff over time, you naturally form relationships and find yourself wanting to get more involved with the community at Joslin. This led me to join the Board of Trustees nine years ago. It was an opportunity to give back to the organization and be part of a team helping to ensure the highest quality of care while driving research and innovation.

Can you speak to Joslin’s impact on individuals, families, and society broadly—and why it’s so meaningful?
Living with a chronic condition like type 1 diabetes and caring for a young person who lives with the condition can be relentless. Joslin alleviates some of this burden by delivering exceptional care, providing inspiration by making cutting-edge treatments possible, and helping caregivers. The team at Joslin works diligently for Elle, providing excellent care and improving her quality of life. Joslin has supported our entire family along the way, including annually screening our three younger children for their risk of developing the disease. The team always goes the extra mile. The physicians and certified diabetes educators even help us navigate the challenges with insurance coverage.

The great strides Joslin makes on the research front constantly inform the care delivered on the clinical side. It’s an effective partnership that extends beyond Joslin. The information and techniques are disseminated internationally and improve care for diabetes around the world. As a mother whose child has diabetes, the impact of this transformational work means so much.

Running the 128th Boston Marathon® presented by Bank of America is an incredible achievement. What motivates you to run for Joslin as part of Team BILH?
I am so excited to have run the marathon, especially under the banner of Beth Israel Lahey Health in support of Joslin. It’s always been a bucket list item for me. The time was right this year, and it felt like another way to give back as I transition off the board after nearly a decade. Running the marathon was a way for me to stand in solidarity with my daughter and demonstrate how important Joslin is to me. This was my first marathon, and I embraced the challenge. Elle gave me the inspiration I needed to keep going. I am still fundraising and welcome everyone to support my efforts.

Do you have any guiding principles around giving? Why is philanthropy so critical to Joslin’s mission?
I give where my heart tells me to give. I feel compelled to support Joslin because they have been with me and my family from the beginning of Elle’s journey with type 1. I also encourage everyone to support the institution because of the impact it has around the world. Joslin takes on the toughest and most complex cases without question and never turns anyone away. Philanthropy is critical to Joslin and to realize the promise of a world without diabetes. The new technology and treatments that come through Joslin can be life-changing for people living with diabetes, and these great strides would simply not be possible without generous gifts from individuals and families.

Can you share a bit about your personal or professional background? What do you like to do for fun as a family?
I am a mother of four, and I love spending time together with my family. Elle’s diagnosis changed my life’s trajectory—I co-founded Good Measures, a health tech company to improve the quality of life for those with diabetes and other nutrition-sensitive conditions. I am working toward the new frontier of regenerative therapies and advocating for all those who are touched by diabetes. My family is incredibly grateful for Joslin and for all the ways this organization serves families like ours by providing exceptional care in pursuit of a world without diabetes.

Give to Joslin today.