March 13, 1998

Diabetes research dollars roll in from Mark Collie benefit race

Diabetes research dollars roll in from Mark Collie benefit race

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Country music singer Mark Collie (left) recently presented Dr. Daryl Granner (center) and Dean John Chapman with the proceeds from his annual stock car race benefitting diabetes research. (Photo by Donna Jones Bailey).

Auto racing and country music came together last week to give the fight against diabetes at the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center a $270,000 lift.

The gift, presented at a recent reception at the University Club, represents part of the proceeds from the 1997 Mark Collie Celebrity Race for Diabetes Cure.

The annual stock car race features celebrities from many different fields of entertainment and was held last October at the Nashville Speedway. Collie organized the race three years ago to provide funding for diabetes research.

"They are doing great things in the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center and I am very proud to help keep those things going," said Collie, who has been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 17 years.

"I would also like to recognize all the people who participate in the race, because without their help this would not be possible."

The reception was hosted by Dr. John E. Chapman, dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Dr. Daryl K. Granner, Joe C. Davis Professor of Biomedical Science and director of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center.

"Mark has really brought diabetes awareness to the Nashville community. His efforts have not only helped us continue our research but also helped many people in the community get control of their own disease," said Granner.

During the reception Collie and Granner also announced the formation of the Loretta Lynn Summer Research Program in Diabetes. The program was named after country music legend for her work on the race and in honor of her late husband, Mooney, who died from complications resulting from his diabetes.

Lynn was scheduled to speak at the reception but was unable to attend due to illness.

"I know Loretta really wanted to be here with all of you today. She sends her thanks to everyone for their help and work," said Collie.

Over the past three years the Mark Collie Celebrity Race for Diabetes Cure has raised more than $500,000 for the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center.

The $270,000 raised this year will be added towards the goal of having an endowed chair for diabetes research in Collie's name.

"It is research that leads to knowledge and knowledge that leads to a cure," said Chapman. "Mark's efforts toward helping us continue our research are very appreciated."