Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Baton

Finding a cure for diabetes can't happen by accident. And it's a marathon not a sprint.

I had a great conversation with Aldo Rossini about the need to attract talented young investigators to the field of diabetes research. He's really scared. Dr. Rossini is worried that his entire life's work will be in vain if we have no one to pass the baton to.

Dedicated doctors, scientists and parents have always needed to lead the charge and keep the momentum going. We need to continually encourage anyone entering the field of sciences to take up this baton until the finish line is reached. They are our future. They are the cure.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Proud

Last month at JDRF's annual conference two very exceptional women were recognized as "Volunteers of the Year." One was the ever dynamic diabetes advocate, Moira McCarthy from Massachusetts. The other was my own dedicated wife Marinda. Hats off to both. and kudos to Dr. Aaron Kowalski, who won the "Staff of the Year Award" for his work on the artificial pancreas.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just Like Everyone Else

As we dropped off Cassie to Camp Clara Barton, an all girl's diabetes summer camp, for a two-week away session, a powerful realization struck me. EVERYONE there had diabetes or diabetes medical training. EVERYONE understood the fears and diligent care required. NOONE needed any explanations. Including the campers- which made Cassie fit in like a normal kid.

It's gut wrenching for parents like us to leave her without our first hand supervision. But the feeling of "normalcy" for Cassie, even for a mere two weeks, is worth it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Human Clinical Studies

Ever since we started my wife on a phase 2 clinical study for TolerRx we've had a greater appreciation for the challenges diabetes researchers (and private industry) have to make progress in finding a cure. First, it takes a lot of legwork for researchers to FIND people who qualify for the study.

For the candidates, it's simply so hard to make the commitment to undergo a (scary) procedure, do the follow up trials and plan your schedule around the research schedule. Marinda's study required a week long infusion of the test drug... 18 months of follow up... at a research facility hundreds of miles from home. It's a big commitment to make for medical advancement. It's been easier to do as an adult candidate rather than subject our child to it.

The Great Pumpkin?

Scientists at Shanghai's East China Normal University have found that pumpkin extract may have a positive effect on insulin production in type 1 diabetes. This is still a very preliminary finding on rats and haven't been tested in humans, but what's the harm in checking out a slice of pumpkin pie next time you're low?

Links:
The abstract for the study
About.com's synopsis