Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Gift of Hope Artist Paints for a Diabetes Cure

By Jeff Sistrunk ,

Elizabeth Staples's winning Gift of Hope greeting card design "Secrets."

When Elizabeth Staples was 10, her father taught her how to skate on a frozen tennis court in South Bend, Ind. Now, Staples has channeled her fond memories of a childhood on the ice into artwork for the American Diabetes Association's Gift of Hope program.

Every year, ADA receives several hundred original greeting card designs in its Holiday Art Search contest. This year, 17 were selected for the catalog; five designs from previous years were also included. Staples's winning design this year, entitled "Secrets," is her fourth to make it into the catalog.

Gift of Hope will take your favorite family snapshots and use them to
make personalized photo greeting cards. You can order these, other cards, a holiday calendar, and gift items at

Gift of Hope grew out of a 1971 effort by a dozen Minnesota parents of children with diabetes to make holiday cards to sell as a fund-raiser. In the 38 years since then, the program has raised more than $22.5 million. All the proceeds of Gift of Hope catalog sales—from cards, a calendar, an annual ornament, and other items—go to support diabetes research.

Like Gift of Hope's founders, Staples was moved to join the fight to stop diabetes by family members with the disease: her daughter Beth, 33, who was diagnosed with type 1 nine years ago, and her late mother, who had type 2. Her grandmother, Bertha Barrett, was an artist whose paintings encouraged Staples to take up a brush herself.

Staples worked as a graphic designer for 19 years at Indiana University–South Bend, where she is still employed as a secretary in the education department. In her free time, she works on art projects, including Gift of Hope designs and family gifts.

Staples says she dreams of a day when people will no longer have to struggle with diabetes. In the meantime, she says she'll keep doing her part through Gift of Hope. "It is something I look forward to every year," Staples says. "It's my tribute to my daughter."


Get Free Health Tips

Register for free recipes, news you can use, and simple health tips – delivered right to your inbox.

Get to Know

While she’s still spinning music, DJ Spinderella (aka Deidra Roper) is no longer spinning her wheels when it comes to getting the right information to help her family members who have diabetes. Read more >