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Woman Who Inspired Barbara Davis Center For Diabetes Back To Help

DENVER (CBS4)- The woman who inspired the creation of the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes when she was a child has returned to help find a cure for the disease.

Dana Davis' parents started the foundation to find a cure for diabetes after she was diagnosed with type one diabetes when she was seven years old. Now, 40 years later, Dana is back.

"Oh, my gosh, I was terrified of needles," said Dana when she recalled having to receive an insulin shot daily.

Dana's father, billionaire Marvin Davis, a Hollywood mogul, was used to getting his way. The TV series Dynasty was loosely based on the Davis family.

But all the money in the world couldn't fix Dana because there was and still is, no cure for diabetes.

"My parents took this energy that could have been really negative and put it into something really positive," said Dana.

Dana Davis talks to CBS4's Kathy Walsh (credit: CBS)

Dana was the impetus for the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes now located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Her mother wanted a place where no one would be turned away.

"I thought it was my time to really step in, step up and take control of it," said Dana.

She has taken a fascinating route in her life to get here, first as a kindergarten teacher for 15 years then a designer of high fashion shoes.

But she's also had some struggles with celiac disease, a serious thyroid condition and then Multiple Sclerosis.

"I definitely once every six months, have a pretty good pity party that lasts about a day, a good cry," said Dana.

But then it's back to work with the foundation. Dana wants to return Denver's Carousel Ball fundraiser to its former glory.

Barbara Davis Center For Childhood Diabetes
Barbara Davis Center For Diabetes (credit: CBS)

She's determined to make sure all patients can be treated without worry, "I would love for our doctors and researchers to do all the research and find a cure."

The Carousel Ball is Friday and will honor John and Paige Elway. The event is sold out but there is a waiting list for tickets.

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