About

Improving lives, finding cures, and having fun.

Breakthrough T1D’s Northern California chapter began exploring video game fundraising after Dan Connors, a game industry veteran and father of a child with type 1 diabetes (T1D), set up a donation through the online game store Humble Bundle. Excited by the possibilities, the chapter collaborated with Dan and Hans ten Cate, another T1D dad in the game industry, to help get Breakthrough T1D Play (then called JDRF Game2Give) off the ground in 2019.

In 2020, the initiative expanded worldwide and former game industry executive Josh Larson, whose daughter lives with type 1, signed on to lead the program. As Breakthrough T1D Play grows, more and more video game professionals with T1D connections have joined our volunteer group, all with a common goal: to develop creative ways to advance Breakthrough T1D’s mission of improving lives and finding cures, and to have fun doing it.

To date, Breakthrough T1D Play has raised more than $5M for type 1 diabetes research. Our projects include in-game integrations, livestream fundraisers, game bundles, and esports tournaments.

Our Significant Milestones

March 2019

Dan Connors and Hans ten Cate work with NorCal chapter to hold a preliminary  networking event at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

November 2019

First Twitch and Humble Bundle fundraisers raise more than $500K during National Diabetes Awareness Month.

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March 2020

Josh Larson joins the team as a volunteer.

June 2020

Inaugural Twitch relay event.

August 2020

First annual Game Over, T1D! community fundraiser.

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October 2020

Josh Larson becomes JDRF Game2Give director.

November 2020

JDRF One World launches on Roblox as a substitute for in-person JDRF One Walks canceled due to COVID-19.

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November 2020

JDRF Game2Give holds weeklong tournament with World Golf Tour.

April 2021

Second annual relay fundraiser gets nearly 1M views on Twitch.

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June 2021

JDRF One World receives major content update in partnership with Breakthrough T1D UK.

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November 2021

Annual World Golf Tour tournament extends to the entire month of November.

February 2022

Omnipod Bay, a diabetes-friendly island in Animal Crossing™: New Horizons, launches in partnership with Insulet.

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April 2022

Madden esports tournament held with Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

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May 2022

Game Over, T1D! Humble Bundle, featuring games with links to the diabetes community, raises over $250K.

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November 2022

Program cofounders Dan Connors and Hans ten Cate receive the Huntsman Family Community Engagement Award in recognition of their contributions to Breakthrough T1D.

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February 2023

Annual relay event is newly dubbed Raid for Research.

May 2023

Inaugural Creators for Cures fundraising event raises 4x its original funding goal.

June 2023

JDRF Game2Give program crosses $3M fundraising milestone.

September 2023

JDRF Game2Give’s leaders & founders receive the Impact Award at NorCal chapter’s annual Hope Gala.

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February 2024

Game Over, T1D! Steam Sale raises over $200K.

June 2024

JDRF Game2Give program is renamed Breakthrough T1D Play as part of JDRF’s organization-wide rebranding.

Humble

Humble’s mission is to support charity while providing awesome games and other digital content to customers at great prices. Breakthrough T1D Play regularly partners with Humble on game bundles, drawing on our team’s game industry connections to curate content and spread the word about bundles through community Twitch streams. Humble initiatives have raised more than $1.5M for Breakthrough T1D.

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X Rocker

X Rocker is renowned for redefining home entertainment for gamers across the globe with their huge product offering of gaming chairs, desks, and the world’s first gaming beds. Starting with our first Twitch fundraiser in 2019, X Rocker has generously donated dozens of headsets, gaming desks, and other items for giveaways and fundraising incentives. X Rocker has a type 1 diabetes connection within its senior leadership, which makes this cause personal to the company.

Limited Run Games

Limited Run Games is a premium publisher of physical games cofounded by Josh Fairhurst, who lives with type 1 diabetes. Limited Run’s support has included donations of rare collector’s edition games as giveaways for our streaming events hosted on their Twitch channel. Through this partnership, Josh and Limited Run have raised more than $35K for Breakthrough T1D.

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World Golf Tour

World Golf Tour is the #1 top rated 3D online sports game, with more than 15M players across the globe. It’s free to play on Windows PC, Mac, or your favorite mobile device (iOS, Android, Amazon). Since 2020, we’ve partnered with World Golf Tour to hold open charity tournaments during National Diabetes Awareness Month in November. Across four tournaments, more than 150,000 players in 192 countries have competed to be the best!

Game Asset Bundle

Game Asset Bundle is a ragtag collective of independent, creative humans assembled under a generic, unassuming name, with a mission of making art, music, and more for video game developers and other media. Since 2020, they have supported Breakthrough T1D with multiple Humble Bundles and themed game jams, raising more than $120,000 to date.

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Partner with Us

We’re always looking to expand our network. If you’re in the game industry and have a T1D connection, we want to hear from you!

Meet Our Team

Our goal is GAME OVER for T1D.

Josh Larson Headshot

Josh Larson

Breakthrough T1D Play Director
Josh Larson
Josh has over two decades of experience in the game industry, with a focus on scaling innovative businesses and brands. He has held executive roles with Kongregate, Mochi Media, and GameSpot, leading each to beneficial acquisitions. Driving success for independent game developers is a common thread in his career, as Josh has published Editors’ Choice award–winning games that collectively have hundreds of millions of downloads, including Peter Molyneux’s The Trail, idle game pioneer AdVenture Capitalist, and Fox’s Animation Throwdown. Josh is honored to serve as Breakthrough T1D Play’s first Director, which he regards as the most important job of his career. 

Dan Connors

Cofounder & Advisory Council Chair Emeritus
Dan Connors
Dan is a video game industry pioneer and visionary who has played a key role in driving the evolution of digital distribution, episodic game production, and interactive narrative. Dan started his career at LucasArts in 1993, moving from QA to production before founding Telltale Games in 2004 to focus on narrative games. During Dan’s tenure as CEO, the studio released notable games including Sam & Max, The Walking Dead (winner of 80+ Game of the Year awards), and The Wolf Among Us.

Today, Dan uses his skills in development, marketing, and innovation to craft mutually beneficial relationships between Breakthrough T1D and the video game industry. He is also a partner in the independent studio Skunkape Games, and he serves as a consultant for other game companies.
Hans ten Cate

Hans ten Cate

Cofounder & Advisory Council Chair
Hans ten Cate
Hans has been a video game industry executive for over twenty years. He has served in creative and business roles at PlayStation and Electronic Arts, where he designed, produced, and published video games for several franchises (including The Sims and The Simpsons). He is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Game Developers Association and was most recently the COO of augmented reality gaming company Tilt Five. He and his family care deeply about Breakthrough T1D’s mission to create a world without T1D, which has led to them volunteering for numerous initiatives, including Breakthrough T1D Play. Hans also currently serves as President of Breakthrough T1D’s Northern California Chapter Community Board.

Emily Morganti

Strategic Consultant
Emily Morganti
Emily is a marketing and public relations consultant with more than twenty years of experience in the video game industry. Since 2009, she has consulted with indie studios to develop and execute PR campaigns for more than 120 games for PC, mobile, and consoles, specializing in adventure games and story-heavy games in other genres. Before that, Emily managed press and community relations for Telltale Games, reporting to Telltale’s then-CEO, Dan Connors. When Dan asked for her help establishing the Breakthrough T1D Play community and organizing the program’s first Twitch event in 2019, she signed on for a three-month contract and never left.
Monique and her little white dog, Wally, standing in front of a body of water.

Monique Hughes

Community Manager
Monique Hughes
Monique joined Breakthrough T1D Play in 2022, bringing more than ten years of experience in peer-to-peer fundraising and event management. In her work for major nonprofits such as the American Lung Association and Zoological Society of Milwaukee, Monique helped raise over $10M to support various research, advocacy, education, and conservation efforts. Most recently, Monique served as the National Special Events Manager at the Epilepsy Foundation of America, where her responsibilities included establishing and solely managing a livestreaming program that raised $40K in revenue in its first year.

As Breakthrough T1D Play’s community manager, Monique oversees planning and execution of all our streaming events, manages our Discord server and social media, engages and grows our community, and regularly streams on the Breakthrough T1D Twitch channel. Monique is a longtime gamer—it all started when she was six, playing Super Mario World on Super Nintendo, and continued in middle school when she played Battlefield 1942 on PC as a member of a Top 25 ranked guild. Today, Monique’s favorite games include Fortnite, anything Mario or Legends of Zelda, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, The Sims 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. 

Emily Riley

Northern California Chapter Liaison
Emily Riley
Emily joined the Breakthrough T1D Northern California Chapter in 2015 and is currently Director of Donor Relations. Emily works closely with the chapter’s executive team and volunteer leadership to strengthen stewardship while engaging and growing their pipeline of major gifts. She has worked with Breakthrough T1D Play since 2020, bringing her extensive knowledge of peer-to-peer fundraising to our initiatives and helping us secure critical support internally from Breakthrough T1D and externally from corporate sponsors. Emily is also a longtime gamer, with favorites including The Last of Us, God of War, Ratchet and Clank, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Steven Kovensky

Advisory Council Vice Chair
Steven Kovensky
Steven accidentally fell into games some many years ago. He is the CEO and cofounder of Prismatika, a hands-on boutique game publisher that partners closely with indie studios to help bring their uniquely creative games to full fruition. He has also worked as a designer, producer, and business developer at places like Foundation 9, Ubisoft, and Humble. He's lived with T1D for over forty years. Steven was an early member of the Breakthrough T1D Play advisory council and became the council’s vice chair in 2024.

Tom Schoen

Business Development Consultant
Tom Schoen
A born networker and matchmaker, Tom has been in the industry for the last eleven years, working with several indie developers, media outlets, and other gaming companies in various commercial roles. Alongside this, Tom also cofounded Rangemu, a not-for-profit entity aimed at matching Dutch and Japanese companies for mutually beneficial partnerships and co-organizing the Holland Pavilion at the Tokyo Game Show.

Tom excels at building long-lasting relationships and has seemingly endless knowledge about the gaming industry and its workings. Whether you need to connect to a certain type of company, need feedback on a project, or want to have a nice chat about classic RPGs, Tom is a great person to talk to.

Trisha Lee

Business Development Consultant
Trisha Lee
Trisha is an avid indie game lover and seasoned business developer in the game industry. During her tenure as Senior Business Development Manager at Kepler Interactive, she spearheaded scouting for publishing, project financing, and other commercial offerings of Kepler Group. Prior to this, at Utomik, she had a blast formulating the content strategy for the platform and building a portfolio of 1,400+ premium PC titles in a team of two.

Currently, as the cofounder of the gaming biz dev consultancy firm PATI, she is facilitating fundraising sales and bundles for charity organizations, connecting her passion for games and social impact. Beyond her professional pursuits, Trisha finds joy in painting, solving puzzles, and engaging in lively discussions about food, anime, and offbeat indie treasures.
Isaac Maier Headshot

Isaac Maier

Roblox Developer
Isaac Maier
Isaac has been involved in Roblox development since 2020, with credits such as Chipotle’s spine-chilling “Boorito” Halloween event, live concerts featuring Tai Vaerdes and Zara Larsson, and the parkour battle royale game Jump Kingdoms. He first worked with Breakthrough T1D Play in 2021, as a designer on Breakthrough T1D World’s UK update, and joined the team more formally in 2022.

As our in-house Roblox expert, Isaac lends his skills in game design, 3D modeling, environment design, and production to further evolve Breakthrough T1D World, with contributions including the Quest for the Golden Rufus treasure hunt, the Children’s Congress sidequest in Washington, DC, and the Charity Walk Simulator expansion.

Advisory Council

Need Answers?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes (often shortened to “T1D”) is an autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults suddenly. It has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent it. And, at present, there is no cure. Approximately 8.7M people have type 1 diabetes worldwide, a number expected to grow to 17.4M by 2040.

With T1D, the pancreas stops producing insulin—a hormone the body needs to get energy from food. This means a process the body does naturally and automatically becomes something that now requires daily attention and manual intervention. People with T1D must constantly monitor their blood-sugar level, inject insulin or infuse it through a pump, and carefully balance these insulin doses with eating and activity throughout the day and night.

Learn more about T1D.

What is Breakthrough T1D’s purpose?

Breakthrough T1D is the leading global type 1 diabetes research and advocacy organization. As we drive toward curing type 1 diabetes, we help make everyday life better for the people who face it.

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How is the money raised by Breakthrough T1D Play used?

Money raised by Breakthrough T1D Play events and initiatives furthers Breakthrough T1D’s efforts to make everyday life with type 1 diabetes better while driving toward cures. With your support, we are creating a movement to improve and change life with type 1 diabetes, advancing breakthroughs on the way to cure the condition.

No organization does more to improve everyday life with T1D—from driving millions of dollars of global investment in therapy development and access, to advancing research, advocacy, and community support. We connect the brightest minds to help advance treatments, influence policy, and improve access to care for those all over the world who need it.

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Is participation in Breakthrough T1D Play’s events limited to people and companies in the US?
Not at all! Although most of our team is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and we work closely with Breakthrough T1D’s Northern California and national US offices, Breakthrough T1D Play is an international program with community members from all over the world. This map shows the global reach of one of our streaming events.
Why did JDRF change its name to Breakthrough T1D?

After extensive market research, we determined that while our most engaged supporters saw our previous brand as having strong equity, the name did not accurately represent who we are, what we do, or the full spectrum of the community we support, especially among people less familiar with us.

Our leaders agreed that the name “JDRF” perpetuated misconceptions, with the word “Juvenile’” alienating adults, and the word “Research” failing to capture the full picture of what we do. Using the acronym “JDRF” as our name made it harder for people to engage with us, because they didn’t know—or couldn’t remember—the words represented by each letter.

Breakthrough T1D invites all audiences to progress together. The new name promises impacts large and small—from scientific breakthroughs and advocacy wins, to breaking through everyday obstacles. It’s a rallying cry to make an impact for everyone in the T1D community.

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Breakthrough T1D Play (formerly JDRF Game2Give®) is a program within Breakthrough T1D™, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization.

© 2024 Breakthrough T1D Play

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Big news: JDRF Game2Give® is now Breakthrough T1D™ Play!