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Helmsley Announces Capacity Building Grant for Kyler Cares to Expand Services for Underserved Youth Living with Type 1 Diabetes

NEW YORK, June 26, 2024 — The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced today a $1.4 million grant, with a matching component, to support the growth of the Kyler Cares Foundation. Kyler Cares is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health outcomes for underserved youth living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) by sharing educational resources, increasing access to diabetes technology, developing tools to reduce stigma, and fostering community support.

“Better access to care, technology, and resources is critical to improving health outcomes for people of color living with T1D — I know too well how T1D can drastically impact the lives of children and their families,” said Kyle Banks, Founder of the Kyler Cares Foundation. “Through this partnership with The Helmsley Charitable Trust, we look forward to expanding our support for underserved children with T1D.”

The Helmsley Charitable Trust’s grant seeks to amplify the impact of Kyler Cares’ work and provide a gateway for the organization’s long-term growth and sustainability. The matching component is an opportunity for others to join in supporting Kyler Cares’ mission.

Mr. Banks was diagnosed with T1D as an adult while performing in the Broadway cast of The Lion King, and his experience navigating the unique challenges faced by people living with T1D serves as the driving force behind his organization. Underserved communities bear a disproportionate burden compared to wealthier communities when managing T1D as they often face many additional challenges, including limited access to quality healthcare, financial barriers, inadequate health education, psychosocial stressors, insufficient insurance coverage, food insecurity, geographic barriers, and cultural differences.

To address these critical issues, the Kyler Cares Foundation operates in partnership with healthcare systems, diabetes technology manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies. By building these strategic alliances, the foundation leverages collective expertise and resources to identify gaps in patient care and drive comprehensive solutions that meet the needs of those living with T1D. Kyler Cares provides programming to:

  • Improve health literacy and diabetes education with culturally relevant materials for NYC public school students and families.
  • Expand access to diabetes technology by helping students overcome access barriers, guiding families through insurance and financial aid processes, and educating students and caregivers on diabetes devices.
  • Cultivate peer and caregiver support networks by connecting families with Kyler Cares social workers, clinical providers, health coaches, and industry representatives.
  • Connect families with researchers to increase community involvement in clinical trials, diversify trial demographics, and enhance data collection.

As an advocate for increased clinical trial diversity, Mr. Banks was recently featured in the Prioritizing Diversity in Clinical Trials panel at the 2024 American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida. He highlighted the barriers created by study design and discussed how to incorporate inclusive strategies for participant enrollment and retention.

“At Helmsley, we are dedicated to ensuring that all people with T1D have access to quality care and diabetes technologies that are proven to improve health outcomes,” said Deniz Dalton, Program Officer in the Type 1 Diabetes Program at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “We know that access is not evenly distributed and are excited to work with Kyler Cares to support children and caregivers living with T1D in underserved communities.”

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About Kyler Cares

The Kyler Cares Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission that is deeply rooted in improving health outcomes for underserved individuals living with diabetes. Founded in 2020, the organization meets its mission by improving access to technology that aids with management, connecting communities to diabetes education, and developing tools to reduce the stigma surrounding the disease.

About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $4.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program is the largest private foundation funder in the world with a focus on T1D, with more than $1 billion to date committed to transform the trajectory of the disease and to accelerate access to 21st century care, everywhere. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org.

Contacts

Sean Kramer, Kyler Cares Director of Development, sean@kylercares.org

Alison Carley, Helmsley Charitable Trust Communications Officer, acarley@helmsleytrust.org