Bart Millard of MercyMe: Fighting to End Juvenile Diabetes Through 'Imagine a Cure'

Most people know Bart Millard as the lead singer of the contemporary Christian band, MercyMe. The band has won numerous Dove and other music awards but are probably best known for their hit single, I Can Only Imagine. After his son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, Bart also became the founder of the nonprofit organization, Imagine a Cure.

35 children a day are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in the United States
35 children a day are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in the United States

What is Juvenile Diabetes?

Juvenile diabetes is more commonly called Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Thirty five American children are diagnosed with this condition everyday and continue to live with it the rest of their lives.

Those who have juvenile diabetes need insulin injections in order to survive. This condition is caused by an autoimmune destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas which normally secrete insulin. This lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose.

When children are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes they:

  • Have a lower projected life span by 14 years
  • Are more likely to suffer blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage
  • Are two-four times likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack

Bart Millard with MercyMe
Bart Millard with MercyMe

Imagine A Cure

Bart Millard's son, Sam, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of two. In 2007, Bart founded the non-profit organization, Imagine A Cure, to help support research to find a cure for this disease. Bart said his son's disease has changed his life and the lives of their family forever.

On MercyMe's website, Bart Millard not only implores those who can give to do so but asks for prayers as well. He says, "Pray for the hearts and minds of the scientist and doctors trying to find a cure. Pray for everyone who is experiencing this terrible disease first hand. Pray that God find greater glory through a cure and that God be glorified through Sam’s life."

Bart Millard and his band members often use portions of tickets or music sales to go towards Imagine a Cure. In 2008, Bart Millard released a solo project called Hymned Again. With every purchase made on itunes, a portion of the proceeds went to Imagine A Cure. This past year, MercyMe was part of the lineup for the Rock and Worship Road Show where some of the proceeds from ticket sales also went to Imagine A Cure. There have been numerous other tours and concerts where proceeds have gone to Imagine A Cure.

Besides Imagine A Cure, Bart Millard is also a part of many other fundraisers and organizations that helps to find a cure for juvenile diabetes. His organization works closely with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), whose exclusive focus is to find a cure for the disease. Eighty-five percent of all donations to the JDRF go directly into research.

In 2008, Bart's son, Sam, won a contest sponsored by the Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to help raise awareness of the disease. Sam and the other JDRF kids got to submit a design for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane/Custom Accessories Shelby Mustang Funny Car, which was featured on the car during the NHRA U.S. Nationals.

The Generous Mr. Lovewell

MercyMe's latest album, The Generous Mr. Lovewell, has a message of compassion and and goodwill. The band hopes that the music on this album inspires everyone to reach out to those in need and to spread their generosity.

"It's always been a part of us to at least to want to try to give back," said Nathan Cochran, bass guitar player for MercyMe.

Regarding the song The Generous Mr. Lovewell, which shares the title of the album, Mercy Me says, "Mr. Lovewell represents those people in our lives who take advantage of every moment to make a difference regardless whether they get the spotlight or not. Believing it’s the little things that make a great big change."

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Comments 14 comments

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Cari Jean, Well Done! Beautiful Hub! What a generous gesture of Bart Millard... This is very informing! "Pray for the hearts and minds of the scientist and doctors trying to find a cure. Pray for everyone who is experiencing this terrible disease first hand. Pray that God find greater glory through a cure and that God be glorified through Sam’s life." AMen & AMEN!! In JESUS NAME...

I have compassion for children as well as adults who suffer diabetes! I also have an eleven year old grand daughter who was diagnosed five year ago!

Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Cari, I think this is an awesome hub. Juvenile diabetes is such a serious situation and you explained it well. Mercy Me I think is one of the very best Christian bands. I didn't know all that information about Bart Millard. We do need a cure.


westernlifestyle profile image

westernlifestyle 6 years ago from The Beautiful Pacific Northwest!

Great information - and "I Can Only Imagine" is my favorite song!!! Thank you for sharing on this important subject.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 6 years ago from South Carolina

This was a very moving, well written hub. May God bless you and your family in your efforts to help find a cure for juvenile diabetes.


TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago

My husband has a family history of diabetes. I wrote an article about this topic, but I haven’t published it yet. It’s good that I found your hub. Many have already heard about this disease. However, people may sometimes neglect it. This article is informative and a beatiful story. The experience of Bart Millard is quite moving. It is just a pity that his son has to suffer such sickness at an early age. I hope that many readers will learn something from his life. Thank you for sharing it.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

DeBorrah - thanks so much for your comment, it is great to hear from you! I love what Bart Millard shared on his website as well - it's great to give money but it's also important to pray as well! I'm sorry to hear about your grand daughter's diagnosis - I hope she is doing well in spite of her diabetes.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Pamela - thanks for your comment. I didn't realize just how much children can suffer from diabetes until I wrote this hub. My heart goes out to each and every one of them and their parents as well. I'm glad there is so much being done to help find a cure.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

westernlifestyle - I Can Only Imagine is such a beautiful song and I love that it is not only played on the Christian music stations but the adult contemporary ones as well! Thanks for your comment.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Happyboomernurse - thank you so much for your encouraging comment. I pray that there is a cure someday.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Tina - thank you so much for your comment. Diabetes also runs on my husbands side of the family but thankfully, he has not been diagnosed with it and we pray he never will be. People who don't have diabetes don't really realize what a struggle it can bo for people to have this disease. I pray there is a cure for all types of diabetes.


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

I appreciate you bringing this article to the public's attention. What a great name for his charity org.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

bayoulady - when I saw the hubmomb topic of the week on diabetes, I automatically thought of this organization and I wanted to try to get some more publicity for it. Thanks for your comment!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

This is the second hub I've seen tonight on the topic of a cure of juvenile diabetes. So glad to see this highlighted!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 4 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

RTalloni - thanks so much for your comment. It would be wonderful if a cure could be found!

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