Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Three (and a Half) Cures

I thought I wanted a cure for diabetes, but really I want more than 1 cure.

Cure #1: After Cassie was first diagnosed, I desperately longed for something to immediately shut down the autoimmune attack on her pancreas and keep her as a normal, healthy kid. I imagine it to be a magic pill that would stop diabetes dead in its tracks.

Cure #2: Now, Cassie needs something more. Now a cure for her would be like cure #1, but it would also regenerate new healthy, insulin producing beta cells. Also, it would reverse any damage and complications diabetes may have already wrought on her fragile body. I truly wish we had this kind of rewind button for anyone who is already living with this pernicious disease.

Cure #3: I worry about others who don't have diabetes but are predisposed to it. My older daughter who does not have type 1 diabetes falls into this category. Moreover, the number of new T1 diagnoses is rising at an alarming rate. We need a cure that prevents this disease from ever happening to anyone anymore.*

...and a half...Until we get to any of these cures, I'm hopeful that research can unearth some things to make managing diabetes easier. The insulin pump changed our lives. CGMs are magical and help people with hypoglycemic unawareness. A smarter insulin could ease mis-dosing. An artificial pancreas could be freeing. But these are all treatments in my mind- and not a cure. So I count treatments as a "half cure." But right now and right here, they are mightily important to me.

The folks at JDRF understand me. The organization is now focused on three things in the fight against type 1 diabetes: Cure, Treat, Prevent. Like most parents, I'm selfish for my children. I want it all. All three and a half cures.

*last week news broke about JDRF working with Selecta Biosciences for a type 1 diabetes vaccine. I hope they can get me cure #3, before grandchildren come into the picture.


Kimberly Chisholm said...

What a concise and clear way to describe the different aspects of this complex disease! We Chisholms join in the wishing. Plus we are half-wishing for an hypoglycemia-sensing dog. Mostly because we love dogs.

Five Bears A-Blogging said...

I think I want prevention almost as much as I want a cure for my son. My heart breaks every time I hear of another diagnosis. I was pleased to see JDRF's mission expanding in the direction of prevention.