Generous supporters Anne and John Bray have been involved with Joslin Diabetes Center for more than two decades. Their desire to give back is deeply rooted in their appreciation for the care provided to their daughter, Christine, from her early teenage years through her pregnancy. Their recent gift of $100,000 supports a new lecture series that celebrates women in medicine who are leaders in care and research. The very first lecture, held in April, focused on education around pregnancy for people with diabetes.
When their daughter was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13, the Brays were completely surprised. A healthy and active adolescent who loved to play sports and spend time with friends, Christine had suddenly become pale and easily fatigued. Both parents were concerned about the potential complications associated with type 1 diabetes and how managing a chronic disease might impact their daughter. “We just didn’t see it coming,” says Anne. “It was scary and overwhelming at first because there’s so much to learn.”
Flash forward two decades and the Brays couldn’t be happier with how the story unfolded. After earning degrees from the College of Holy Cross and The Harvard Extension School, Christine now works in financial services at the Harvard Management Company. Married in 2019, she and her husband welcomed a daughter two years ago. The Brays credit Joslin Diabetes Center with helping the entire family navigate Christine’s diabetes, enabling her to lead a full and healthy life. “Her care team has been there every step of the way—from her teen years, the transition to college, educating her husband, and throughout to her pregnancy,” says Anne. Adds John: “The personalized care and support we have received over the years has been exceptional. Thanks to Joslin, diabetes didn’t stop Christine from leading a normal life and achieving her goals.”
To show their gratitude, the Brays have been loyal supporters of the Joslin Diabetes Center for the past 22 years. Their most recent gift of $100,000 was to establish the Donna M. Younger, MD, Endowed Lectureship Series, which officially launched this past April 24 with a panel focused on diabetes and pregnancy. Named in honor of Younger, a pioneer in the field of diabetes who has been an esteemed member of the Joslin faculty for more than 50 years, the series will celebrate women in medicine who have advanced clinical care and research with an emphasis on type 1 diabetes. The Brays also committed to a generous planned gift to support Joslin. “We are so thankful for Anne and John’s longstanding support of our work, enhancing our ability to stay at the forefront of research and discovery,” says Roberta Herman, MD, President of Joslin Diabetes Center. “This most recent gift to establish a lecture series is further evidence of this family’s enduring dedication to our academic mission.”
Now dividing their time between Florida and Rhode Island, where Christine spent her high school years, the Brays remain committed to supporting Joslin Diabetes Center as it continues to grow and evolve. “Being part of the larger Beth Israel Lahey Health system presents a lot of new opportunities to raise awareness around diabetes, expand access to care, and accelerate research efforts,” says John, retired Chief Financial Officer of NewStar Financial. “We’re excited to see where it all leads and honored to contribute in this way.”