Shell Key West Challenge Presents Check for $110,000 to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

Crystal Blaylock Sanchez, Matthew Sanchez, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation President and CEO Robert A. Pearlman, and Hayden Blaylock

Hollywood, FL (November 20, 2007) – After the tremendous success of the Shell Key West Challenge fishing tournament held earlier this year, a check in the amount of $110,000 was presented to the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) Foundation on November 3. This is the first year the DRI Foundation has benefited from this longstanding tournament, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary at the upcoming event, to be held June 12-15, 2008.

During a conference luncheon, the check was presented by Hayden Blaylock, founder and CEO of Blaylock Oil Company in Homestead, his daughter, Crystal Blaylock-Sanchez, and her husband, John Sanchez, who both now head the fishing tournament. The family has been committed to finding a cure for diabetes ever since the Sanchez’s eldest son, Matthew, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2005.

“To Crystal and John, Hayden, Blaylock Oil Company and Shell Oil, we cannot thank you enough for your generous contribution. It is because of your support that the Diabetes Research Institute is one step closer to finding a cure for Matthew and all others affected by diabetes,” stated DRI Foundation President and CEO Robert A. Pearlman, who then invited the family to say a few words.

Blaylock addressed the audience, giving a brief history of the event that he and his wife, Jo, founded in 1989. The longest running fishing tournament in Key West, the annual event attracts an avid group of anglers – all Shell executives, jobbers and corporate sponsors – who compete for trophies and prizes. Shell has served as the title sponsor and helped raise more than $1.7 million for former beneficiary, the National Institute for Mental Health. Blaylock also called upon Phil Goyette, area manager for Shell Oil, who thanked the family for their tireless dedication.

But it was Matthew who captured the hearts of the crowd.

“I hope this money goes towards my dream to be a regular kid again,” said the 7-year-old.

The Diabetes Research Institute, a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is a recognized world leader in cure-focused research. Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet transplantation. From innovations in islet isolation and transplant procedures to advances in cell biology and immunology, the DRI is now harnessing the power of emerging technologies to develop new cell-based therapies to restore insulin production. For the millions of families already affected by diabetes who are looking to the world of science for answers, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure. For more information, call 1-800-321-3437 or visit


Lauren Schreier
Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

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