This morning, I woke up from a terrible dream. In it, my son’s blood sugar was going up. First his meter read 614, and then 700. (Healthy blood glucose levels are between 70 and 100 mg/dL.)
My eyes flew open. I turned off my alarm and said, “I’ve had enough.”
I’m not the first parent or person with Type 1 Diabetes who has said this. My son says it every day! But there’s something about today. Today has an urgency about it.
I recently saw a pediatric endocrinologist give a speech about clinical trials. She spoke in great detail about TrialNet, a worldwide research organization dedicated to pre-diabetes screening.
So what? I thought. There’s nothing that can prevent someone from developing Type 1 Diabetes. Once the beta cells start going rogue and the immune system steps up to attack them, Type 1 (the inability to create insulin) is not far behind. My kid already has diabetes. There was nothing I could have done to prevent it.
But, there’s something almost EVERYONE* can do to prevent future cases of Type 1. We can join TrialNet, give a blood sample, and follow up. TrialNet tracks people for the antibodies present in patients with diabetes before it develops. They study risk factors like genetics, the environment, and exposure to other illnesses. They research interventions and possibly vaccines that could prolong the onset of diabetes and hopefully one day prevent it.
They may even discover a way to treat or cure people who currently have the disease.
*Anyone under age 45 can enroll in TrialNet anywhere in the world. Please consider becoming part of this important project!
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