“How could I not be forever grateful to Joslin?” asks David Ring, President of Applied Plastics. “My father often reminded me, ‘Dave, if it weren’t for Joslin Diabetes Center, you wouldn’t be here!’” The Ring family’s deep appreciation for the care Joslin offers its patients was born from that poignant reality. They have been dedicated supporters for more than 35 years, making gifts totaling more than $1 million in the last five years alone.  

David’s father, Frank, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1938 at age 12, was initially given a life expectancy of 30 years. However, when he came to Joslin Diabetes Center, his outlook and opportunities for a fulfilling life changed dramatically. Ultimately, Frank lived to be 82 years old, enjoying a rewarding personal and professional life. “My father credited the Joslin camp he attended as a child with giving him the education to manage his own care and lead a full life,” says David, recounting that his father was initially told he couldn’t participate in high school hockey, however, he not only played, but eventually became team captain. And while Frank was told he wouldn’t be a candidate for medical school, he went on to found his own company, Applied Plastics, now a worldwide supplier to medical diagnostics companies. “He was very disciplined, and he met challenges and discrimination head on,” says David, who remembers being attentive to his father’s sugar levels, ordering sandwiches at the right time during meetings. 

Frank’s success story started with having access to the right care at the right time. The treatment and education he received at Joslin was pivotal to his life journey. “Dad was a patient of Dr. Elliott Joslin and, later, Dr. Priscilla White,” says David. “It was the height of the Depression, and his family was able to come up with only $2 each month. Dr. Joslin had said, ‘Pay what you can; we’ll take care of the rest.’ Of course, he never forgot that.” And neither did David. Elaine Ring, David’s wife, recalls how Frank was always willing to help other patients in any way he could, and that meant volunteering as a participant in many clinical studies. “He was committed to giving back philanthropically,” says Elaine, a nurse. “His motivation was surely spurred by Joslin’s cutting-edge reputation. In nursing, we always knew the best care a patient with diabetes could get was at Joslin.” 

In keeping with this dedication to giving back, Frank was a founding member of a group of supporters who conceived a novel idea for an event to benefit the organization. Decades later, Joslin at the Pops remains a beloved annual tradition. “The Ring family’s longstanding support of Joslin, especially through their leadership role in Joslin at the Pops has helped enable us to enhance vital research, treatment, education, and expertise for patients and families,” says Roberta Herman, MD, President of Joslin Diabetes Center. “We are so grateful for the Ring family’s support of our world-leading care.” Through their ongoing generous support of Joslin’s mission, the Ring family is creating an extra circle of care and attention for patients with diabetes—and truly making an impact. “For anyone with diabetes, it’s the care and attention of the people around them that truly makes the difference,” says David. 


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