Many of you have probably seen the article floating around Facebook about the woman who no longer requires insulin after being part of a clinical trial. Unlike many other stories found on the social media site, this one really is true! Although it may be true, it is still unbelievable.
Here’s how it was achieved. This is taken directly from the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s website. It’s a description of the pilot trial they will begin following the success of their first trial: “The omentum is a lining that covers the abdominal organs. Researchers will transplant donor islet cells into the omentum within a ‘biodegradable scaffold,’” one of BioHub platforms.
The biodegradable scaffold is made using a patient’s own plasma, the liquid part of the blood. Researchers combine the islet cells with the plasma, apply it to the omentum, and then add thrombin, a commonly used, clinical-grade enzyme. When mixed together, these substances create a gel-like material that sticks to the omentum and holds the islets in place. This omentum is then folded over around the biodegradable scaffold mixture.
Over time, the body will absorb the plasma/thrombin gel leaving the islet cells intact, while new blood vessels are formed to support the cells’ survival and function.”
This all sounds like science fiction I know, but it’s not! It’s actually possible and it’s done using donor islet cells similar to an organ transplant. I wish you could feel the excitement I’m typing those words with. By the time you read this, I will have submitted the Islet Transplant Application form! That’s right, in paper form, I’m standing with my hand stretched up high screaming, “Pick me, pick me!”
I realize that the possibility of getting in on one of these early trials is slim to none; however, they keep your information on file for up to 10 years for future trials. If I could be a part of bringing an end to this beast for the millions of people fighting it every minute of every day and night, then I’m definitely gonna try! My baby boy and all those other brave kiddos and adults (along with their parents) deserve it! Oh my goodness, what if we could actually one day say, “We used to have diabetes!?”
This is how close we are to finding a cure and this is why you need to let me cook dinner for you Wednesday night (Feb. 17)! You see, I — along with other mothers of type 1 diabetics — will be hosting a dinner from 5-6:30 p.m. at Tipp City United Methodist Church, 8 W. Main St., Tipp City. For just $5 per person or $15 per family, enjoy a taco bar, dessert, and drink, and proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation! See ya then as we help to turn type 1 into type none!
Jennifer Runyon is a freelance writer who shares her life stories living with Type 1 diabetes for 28 years and whose young son also has been diagnosed with the disease. Email her at email@example.com.