New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Brenda Novak has penned more than two dozen novels but her greatest personal accomplishment is raising money for diabetes research.
Novak's youngest son Thad was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2002 at the age of five.
"Fortunately the symptoms were obvious enough that we caught the disease early, but this isn't always the case, especially in very young children. He was constantly thirsty, constantly urinating and for the first time in his young life, began to wet the bed," said Novak.
Novak said there is a lot confusion about Type 1 diabetes.
"Many people believe that diabetes is caused from lack of exercise and poor eating but that is typically Type 2 diabetes. As is often the case with those who come down with Type 1, Thad had a terrible virus in advance of his diagnosis which triggered the disease," she said.
Immediately after his diagnosis, Novak set on a course to raise money for diabetes research.
After seeing the dismal turn out for a silent auction at Thad's school, Novak decided there must be a better way.
"And that was when the idea popped into my head. I realized I had a website with significant traffic. I began to wonder if I could enlist my fans to help me raise money via an online event," she said.
Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes Research was first held in May 2005.
Since then she has raised $1.3 million dollars for the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute.
"I wanted a cure-focused research center. I wanted to strike at the very heart of the disease to find a cure so that education and money for supplies for the underprivileged would no longer be an issue," said Novak. "I felt, and still feel, they have the best chance of delivering a cure."
Dr. Camillo Ricordi, Scientific Director for the Diabetes Research institute said Novak's fundraising has been critical to moving forward on the path to a cure.
"We could not advance cure-focused research as quickly without the support of committed and dedicated individuals like Brenda, who allow us to remain really focused on the real target of our efforts," said Ricordi.
Novak's goal is to meet or exceed $2 million.
The online auction offers a variety of unique items to bid on, including tickets to American Idol, lunch with top selling authors, and a stay at the Nora Roberts Inn.
To see more go to: http://www.brendanovak.auctionanything.com