I was Asked, I Answer. How About You?

cure definedI was asked by someone recently what a cure looks like to me?

She writes, “Is the cure you visualize one without side effects, complications and risk. Does it restore normal beta cell function in some way? Does it involve an operation? Will they need any other medication? Will the cure last or will they need repeated cures?”

First of all I believe that there are two separate categories.  Treatment.  Cure.  I think the line has been blurred over the years.  I think the line should stay crystal clear.  The reason I believe this point is that the emphasis on one has possibly made people think that ‘this_________ (whatever)’ WILL, absolutely make life so much better for people with diabetes.  Better is good and with some things better is FABULOUS.

But back in the days when insulin was discovered, people began touting what was a cure and what was not.  One could make the case statement that insulin surely keeps people alive so it could be a cure.  When it was discovered, many stated it was a cure.  Today, looking back; is it?

But I was asked what I thought.  I, one million percent, think in the present that management is extremely crucial and ANY AND EVERY tool should constantly be improved upon so those with diabetes have all that is needed.

A cure, to me, will be when the monitoring of diabetes and the worry of diabetes is no longer an issue.   The cells that did work, work again and there are no side effects to that end.  If it is something that has to be done every few years, I would be fine with that BUT, I don’t have diabetes.  I answer as my fears and my woes are satisfied as a parent. 

Over the years I have heard so many with diabetes state that greater management tools is the more logical wish because the touting of a cure has gone on so long and the promise broken so many times.  Many just don’t believe a cure is a realistic view-point.

And that saddens me.

As I stated, I can wish for or believe what I want, but I don’t live with it.  I have taught myself to listen to the voices of those who speak from experience and the research world needs to hear them too.  When those living with diabetes believe that modern advancements in tools for management is the better bet for their dollar on wishes; well it should be a wake-up call to the world-at-large looking for a cure.  People want to be shown, not told.

There is not a person in this world who has diabetes who will not tell you, “Sure I want a cure.”  But those who live with it, are not mice.  Show them what you have, because saying it just does not do it for them anymore. 

This goes for the advancements in management tools also.  Do not ‘string people’ along.  If you’ve got it, share it.  If you do not have it, and know you never will, stop it and spend your resources with those who can get us all to the finish line.

I have seen science that is not shared, not substantial, not really anywhere, and they are fooling so many who want it so desperately. 

When asked why am I hear at the DRI, I answer that today with a Facebook post from the man who heads the institute, Dr. Camillo Ricordi……..and he and his colleagues live by it.  He quoted Bertrand Russell:
Never cease to disagree, to ask questions, to question authority, clichés and dogmas. There is no absolute truth. Do not stop thinking. Be dissident voices. Be the weight that tips the floor. Always be informed, but do not lock yourself into knowledge, because knowledge is also a weapon… 
A man who doesn’t disagree is like a seed that will never grow. 

And if whoever you believe in cannot live up to this…..run, don’t walk, away.

I am a diabetes dad. 

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

A Brother’s Christmas Wish for his Sister…..and an Answer that will Touch Your Heart.

I share this with you in the spirit of the Holiday Season.  It is just an incredible Holiday wish that came to me via a mom.

Thirteen-year-old Jeremy asked his mother if he could talk to Dr. Ricordi in private. 

Dr. Ricordi of The Diabetes Research Institute, as so many know, is one of the leading scientists in the world regarding diabetes.  He has created a world of collaboration second to none and it is his drive, talent, and collaborative spirit, along with the same from all of his colleagues, that has given parents hope that some day there will be a cure for diabetes.  This mom, and her family toured the institute and met many of the scientists. It was these up close and  meeting with individuals at the DRI that gave young Jeremy the impression that he could speak to Dr. Ricordi about something very personal.

Jeremy’s mom, Betty, was of course curious, and asked her son why he needed to speak to Dr. Ricordi about something personal??   Her son Jeremy, who does not have diabetes, wanted to see if he was a match for his sister Shelby.  Turns out that he thought he might be able to donate his pancreas to his sister for Christmas so she would not have diabetes anymore!

The young man with a heart of gold was informed by his mother that even if such a thing was a feasible ask; it would mean that he would then have diabetes.

His answer was enough to shake a mountain.

“I don’t care”, he said. “I just don’t want HER to have it anymore.”

The mother and son cried and hugged when he found out it
couldn’t be done.

The mother closed her note to me stating, “Maybe…..someday….typing through tears here. :(.  Hugs to you and the family.”

When I received that message I felt obligated to share with my colleagues at the DRI.  In a very, very short time later, I received the following from one of the greatest minds on this planet in the diabetes research arena.  He was answering the mom personally.

Dear Betty,
Tom shared your message with me and I will be of course delighted to speak with your wonderful son Jeremy and explain to him how we will find a cure for Shelby without having to use his precious pancreas …
All the best, Camillo 
(He then gave her some dates he was available to speak)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

I am a Diabetesdad