We are saddened to announce the passing of one of JDRF’s founding members, Brian Mellor. Brian’s friends and fellow founding parents have kindly shared with our community, some words about his JDRF journey.
“It is with great sadness that we write to notify JDRF of the death of Brian Mellor on 19 December 2018.
Without Brian’s support and financial backing, JDRF would never have got underway in Australia.
“Following the diagnosis in 1968 of their five-year-old daughter with juvenile diabetes (now known as type 1 diabetes), Brian and his wife, Lorna, identified a need for support and education for families living with type 1 diabetes. In 1972, they started a group called DIABS which operated as a subgroup of the Diabetic Association of NSW. It was the first group in Australia to specifically address the needs of these families based on a philosophy of ‘self-help through education’.
The plan was for DIABS to become a national group and this happened in 1982 when the Diabetes Youth Foundation (DYF) was officially established.
During the early years, DYF became aware of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF) in the USA, which was aiming to become an international organisation.
In 1984, DYF joined JDF International and became JDF Australia, In the beginning, we “worked from home” until dear Brian very generously supported the group with two years’ full rental of an office in central Chatswood. We then expanded very quickly!
Over the years, Brian also supported various members of DYF and later JDFA in a wide range of activities including attendance at local and international conferences, visiting prospective chapter groups and fundraising.
In 1989, the first major Australian JDFA Research Grant was announced – the Mellor Fellowship. This really put Australia ‘on the map’ for type 1 diabetes research. The rest is history!
We are very sad to hear of Brian’s death, and send our sincere love and support to Lorna and her family.”
These words were prepared by Geraldine Pack, in conjunction with other founding members of JDRF.
At JDRF, our hearts go out to the Mellor family, and we will remember the amazing contribution Brian has made to the type 1 diabetes community.