Volunteer spotlight: Brian McIntosh

Volunteer Spotlight Brian McIntosh

Leading by example

Brian McIntosh is the kind of good-natured person who is often heard saying, “What needs to be done? Just tell me.” Driven by the JDRF mission to find a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D), he is always the first one to step in when help is needed. He motivates others by demonstrating the value of service to his community.

Listening to Brian talk about JDRF, you would think that he has a personal connection to T1D—a family member or close friend who lives with the disease. But until he became involved with JDRF’s Greater Missouri/Southern Illinois Chapter, he did not. In fact, he knew very little about the disease. Brian says, “Without having a direct tie to T1D, I was truly ignorant as to the effects it has on a family.” That changed a few years ago, when the chapter approached him, first through Lamar Advertising Company—where Brian works as the real estate manager and was able to provide public service advertising for JDRF—and again later to volunteer in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. He agreed, and as he learned more about the complexities of T1D, he gradually became more involved with JDRF. Now, he says, “I love seeing the developments in research and have found a passion for it. I enjoy seeing the difference the medical advancements make in the everyday lives of the people who live with T1D.”

As an advertising professional, Brian understands the power of publicity. Not only does he arrange outdoor advertising space for JDRF events, he also talks to everyone he runs into about our organization and our mission. He attends and works at every special event. He recruits participants, volunteers, and sponsors. Jennifer Cotner-Jones, the chapter’s special events coordinator, says, “He is the perfect example of stewardship. We have made great strides in this community because of his ambition and passion for JDRF.”

Brian is currently a member of the General Leadership Council. He gives more time than anyone would expect from him. But for Brian, it is all part of teamwork. He says, “I can truly say it’s an honor to work with such dedicated people. I absolutely enjoy every aspect of what we do.”

As Brian meets more people who live with T1D and sees the strides that JDRF-funded research is making, he becomes even more dedicated to our effort to find a cure. He says, “A cure would mean an end to constant monitoring of blood-sugar levels, insulin injections, and blood tests, and allow families to live normal lives. Until then, anything we can do to improve the lives of those living with T1D is fantastic!”