A Cure on the Horizon?

August 20, 2014By 3 Comments

580x388-cells-color(1)Call me a pessimist, a glass-half empty kind of girl.  Call me whatever you want, I just like to say I’m realistic.  I am a science minded person.  I follow research from reputable sources, including when I offer nutrition information.  I look to sources that are provided by highly respected organizations and agencies in our country that set the standards of care and have boat loads of evidence and professionals backed by decades of years in their respective fields.

Yes, the 5’Oclock news can offer antidotes about random foods that may cause cancer…. But I’ll do my research before I stop eating bananas thank you very much (I will buy them Organic however).  The 5 O’clock news has also gotten information about Type 1 diabetes so screwed up so many times that it is one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place, to fix the idiots in the media who have no solid evidence based ground to stand on for the most part.

Now, when it comes to believing there will be a cure for Type 1, I can tell you that for me, personally, I have never stayed up one night in my 24 years with this disease day-dreaming about it.  I know too much.  I have worked for pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and read the research, and even participated in some trials (where my information and blood were the only things being given in exchange for being thrown in a pool with thousands of others who wanted part in the human stage of the trials).  I know that there are so many hurdles, red-tape, regulations, years of trial and error and then the expense of an actual cure that it just seems light years away to me.  I would much rather focus on what I can do now to live in the moment, and live well.  That doesn’t always like up with my husband’s retirement plans to his dismay.

When I was told, at nine years old, sitting on the cold and crinkly exam paper at my pediatricians office, that there would be a cure in five years…and five years came and went, and came and went again and again, I just sort of put it behind me.  I live by the ‘it is what it is’ modo.  You just can’t change some things.  Hope is important, and we all should have it.  But it shouldn’t get you into a tizzy, running around like a crazy person trying to get yourself signed up for the latest and greatest clinical trial or counting the days and your pennies awaiting the next technological advance.  Have hope with a solid helping of reality.  Donate to the particular technologies and research that make the most sense to you and that are important to your potential future with this disease.

The bionic/artificial pancreas  project is a fantastic thing that will save a lot of people’s lives who suffer from extremely difficult to control blood sugars, or for young kids with this disease to get a chance to grow up somewhat normal.  I personally am not doing cart wheels for that just yet.  It will be here, but it will be many many more years of trial and error to make sure an external machine want literally kill you on accident.  That takes money and time.  It will be awesome, but It’s not what I want.

I don’t want to think another second about this god damn disease when they tell me they have a cure.  I don’t want to prick my finger ever again, I don’t want to wear ANYTHING on my body.  I may actually start walking around naked just because  I won’t need a place to put my pump.  I don’t want to be alone with my daughter and worry that I might pass out, ever.  I don’t want to be reminded about the years that could be taken away from me because of diabetes.  I want freedom from it all.  That is a cure to me.

So, when the news just recently came out about the FDA has approved a California-based company, ViaCyte, to start HUMAN CLINICAL TRIALS of their stem-cell derived insulin producing cells which are encapsulated in a semi permeable pouch (super insulin in a lycra leotard type thing to protect them from immune attack…ha ha)…that gets my attention.  That gets my hope SOARING.  Human trials are a huge step in the right direction.  I am NO researcher by any means, so don’t expect a fancy explanation here.  What I can say is that please put your politics and religion aside for just a second, please, and know that this means everything to anyone living with Type 1 Diabetes.   My insulin making cells decided to abandon me 24 years ago, left without a trace, never to return again.  There is a vacant space in my pancreas waiting to have the biggest reunion party in the universe.  The streamers are hung, the horns are ready to blow, the Dj is poised…. So I will wait a little longer, and keep the punch on ice… fingers crossed.

Just a side-note…it’s important to understand that FDA trials of new therapies, cures and medications take a lot of time.  There is more research hours and money needed for these things to ever come to fruition than any of us lay people can understand.  Be patient.  Don’t bang down the door of your Endocrinologists house trying to get him to get you in the clinical trial.  Being the guinea pig the first go round isn’t always that glamorous.  Also, it has only just been approved, so it may be months before clinical trail sites and criteria are even made known to the public.  If you want to do more, continue to donate to JDRF to help move the research along, participate in Walks and other fundraising events.  Stay educated on the topic.

For a much more detailed and scientific explanation of this breakthrough, take a look at the following sites:

JDRF – THANK THANK JDRF for having your eye on the goal post the whole time!



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Comments (3)

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  1. Veronica says:

    I hope that people REALLY listen when you post. You do put HOPE in our hearts and the message to never,ever give up is loud and clear.

    Thank you.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Exciting possible advancement here – thank you for sharing! Fingers crossed big time – always – for any step in the direction of finding a cure.

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