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Diabetes + Stem Cell Research = Hope.

Go Bama!  Go Bama!Chris and I were talking the other day about something completely random, when he turns to me and says, "Oh, wait.  Did you hear that Obama is signing that bill to reverse the ban on stem cell research?"

"I did."  

"So?  Are you excited?"

And I thought about the last two decades.  How the veiled promise of "five more years and then ..." and still nothing. 

"I'm hopeful.  You know me, baby.  I'm almost always hopeful, but until it's actually real ..."

He gave me a grin.  "We just keep you healthy and hoping, right?  Well, this is a huge leap forward."

And today, we leapt as President Obama reversed the ban.

We'll keep hoping.  With the JDRF actively leading (and Tweeting!) the charge, and with diabetes on the national stage, progress could actually be made.  Not just a product redesign or another clever device, not just another type of insulin or another pill - real progress.   

I'd love to go from "type 1" to "type: cured." 

(I've been itching to use the past tense for a long time now.)


I have to say: I'm a little bit hopeful. I have a little pit of optimism in my gut. And while I'm tempted to squash it - and quickly - I'm not going to let myself. I'd rather be a half glass full kind of person.

As a 25 year old T1 (going on 19 years), I don't expect a cure in 5 years, but by the time I'm 50 it would be pretty darn nice...and, maybe... hopefully (with stem cells or without)...POSSIBLE. Lots can happen in 10 or 20 or 30 years.

Here's to hoping and wishing. :)

I know that I am in the minority here, but I do not believe in stem cell research. For one, stem cells have continued to show that they thing they grow best are tumors: big and nasty ones to boot. In my honest opinion, conducting research on stem cells is tinkering with something we were not meant to tinker with. I don't want to get into a right to life debate here, but in the opinion of many Americans, conducting research on human embryos is murder - which grants many the right to voice how their federal dollars are spent.

Like everyone else, I yearn daily for a cure for type 1 diabetes for myself and more importantly for my little girl, but the ends, even in this case, don't always justify the means.

Nick - I don't go all political on my blog b/c I know there are people I care about deeply who don't share the same political views as I do. And I respect that.

But for me, knowing that doors are being opened instead of closed, gives me hope.

I agree that opening this door is a good thing, mind you that assumes there will be good controls in place. I have battled with type 1 for a long time, and even though we have a bit more tech today than when I started, insulin delivery management is in my opinion still very crude compared to the bodies metabolic closed loop control processes; and has changed little from the days when I first started dipping my syringe and SS needle into Metho and guestimating how much insulin to take.

For years and years there seemed to be no progress being made; I think that most development has come in the last few years with the JDRF sponsoring research, which I feel is a very good thing. Stem cell research per se may not lead to any ‘cure’ on its own, as you are no doubt aware there are a number of other issues to be resolved. Research has already been conducted to demonstrate that insulin can be produced from other tissue such as skin and pancreatic and islet cell growth may be triggered even in subjects devoid of insulin markers.

I for one am sick of waiting, and don't want to wait another 25 years...albiet that may well be the case unless restrictions imposed by governments and agencies e.g. FDA, TGA are eased and R&D promoted.

Hi Kerri,
This does bring hope to my family, too. My son Kevin had had Type 1 for 18 yrs- he was 17 months old... We heard so many times, 5 more years...

Happy to be twittering with you and love your blog :~) Robin_usanamom

I seem to remember voting for a proposition here in Calif that would provide money for stem cell research a few years ago. It's not like no one has been working on this since Bush placed a ban on it. With the economy being in the toilet, I don't know if this is the best use of federal money. Then again, if they're going to study swine odor, why not pump some tax dollars in to it? Although I'd rather have health insurance now than a cure in 25 years.

I have to say that I am cautiously optimistic about stem cell research. While our islet cells might be able to be reproduced we still have our immune system out of whack that kills off things it shouldn't. I always like to say my pancreas was killed by friendly fire. Until we get those bad soldiers out of our army won't those new beta cells be killed off again? Hopefully this new research will answer that question.

I remind myself that he didn't lift a ban on stem cell research, he lifted a ban on federal money being spent on stem cell research. I've wondered if stem cell research is so promising why private investers didn't choose to pursue the promise when federal funding was banned. But then, for profit companies may not find it promising enough to fund.

Like you, Kerri, I'm cautiously optimistic about this being signed. I think it's one step in what will probably be a multi-pronged effort to find a cure. I don't know that stem cells are the only answer, but it's nice to have the opportunity to study more than the few lines that were available under Bush.

I don't like the idea of restricting research, although I know that there are lines that should not be crossed. I think if a woman/couple chooses to donate unused fertilized embryos for research, it's a better fate than just having those embryos destroyed. And I promise, that's as political as I'll get. Here. :D

I am going to voice here that I am against stem cell research as well . I am catholic and so it goes against my religious convictions as well . But that aside I think there are other ways to find cures other than stem cell research . sorry but I was raised to believe that there are alot of things wrong with society and health issues and stem cell research is one of them .

Thanks for being opinionated and respectful here, guys. I glad people can say what they think without getting all vitriolic.

I'm right there with you Kerri. I can't wait for the day when I can say "Tristan use to have diabetes". I believe that we are finally on the right track! :)

As President Obama said, "Medical miracles do not happen simply by accident." I hope and pray for a cure everyday but hope and prayer isn't going to cure diabetes. I believe we must encourage and support the efforts to facilitate a cure. Am I just being selfish? I’ve been called worse. :-)

Yes! The promises have been made with everyadvance since it was discovered that with a minor gene splice that Islets could be stimulated in 1973. Just 4-5 more years. I was diagnosed in March of 1970 with type 1 diabetes. Nobody in my family had it before. My son was diagnosed at the same age as I was. When adult stem cells were finding early progress hey were bundled into the same waiting patttern as gene splices and infant stem cells and everyone said maybe in 4-5 years. The gene splice thing has been discovered and rediscovered several times in the last 4 decades and it is still no further to being able to be used as it was 36 years ago even when combined with the latest stem cell discoveries or rediscoveries. What needs to be done is someone to get kicked off their throne (or commode) and allow the discovering physicians to continue their research. The latest and one of the most promising points is the diabetes researcher at Harvard that has the 2 sons that are type 1 diabetics that was informed that if he went further he would not be able to get any funding or insurance.

Just someone that has seen it all again and again. and no end in sight.

Tommy L. Hardy

iam very happy to read this report,because i really shocked when i knew 2 months ago that my child is diabetic.he is just two and half years.believe me i hope to give my pancrease to my child,and to be diabetic instead of him.he is my only child that i had.believe me i am crying now when iam trying to write these statments.

I am glad my last posting a month ago did not put a stop to the postings here. There has been some progress for new diabetics and children of parents like Hopeless Mother. A clinical for new found diabetics as a continuation of the gene splicing by Osiris. It only works for new diabetics not someone like me and my son who have been type 1 for 5 years to 4 decades. Unfortunately parental donations do not work for type 1's it also opens up a very costly regimine of anti-rejection drugs that have a tendency to promote cancer.
Tommy L. Hardy

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