In 2002, near the end of his freshman season at the University of Miami, Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork entered what would prove to be the most challenging year of his life. First, his father and biggest supporter, David Wilfork Sr., passed away from complications of diabetes in June. Just six months later and on the eve of football season his mother, Barbara, suffered a stroke and passed away as well. For Wilfork, it was a daily struggle to continue with his football activities, but two years later he turned his talent into something more-a tribute to his father.
As he was preparing to enter the 2004 NFL Draft, Wilfork made the decision to allow fans to see what draft day was like for a prospective first round pick while also raising money for the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami. Five years later, he is still holding his draft day fundraiser after having raised nearly $90,000 for diabetes research since 2004.
This year on April 26, Wilfork and his wife, Bianca, will hold the 5th Annual Vince Wilfork Draft Day Fundraiser Party at Pinz Entertainment in Milford, Mass. From 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. attendees will have the opportunity to meet Wilfork and several of his teammates as they wait to see which player the Patriots will select. A live and silent auction with premium Patriots items will take place, with all proceeds benefiting the Diabetes Research Institute.
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation was created in 1971 by a small group of parents of children with diabetes - parents committed to finding a cure for this devastating disease. Driven by hope and fueled by the need to end their children's suffering, they banded together to support a promising research program at the University of Miami solely aimed at curing those living with diabetes. From providing the vital
seed funding necessary to pursue innovative ideas, to bringing promising discoveries to patients now living with diabetes, the Foundation is a key to enabling the Diabetes Research Institute scientists to accelerate research.