{Diabetes Management} The Artificial Pancreas…or why a hot fudge sundae made me cry.

by Leighann on January 18, 2013

I know some of you are of the mindset: cure or nothing.

I’m not that way.

I’m not an all or nothing type of person.

Do I want a cure for my daughter’s diabetes?

Of course I do.

But there isn’t even a consensus on what a cure looks like. For me, it would be a true biological cure that wouldn’t require her to take anti-rejection meds or that has side effects that are as bad, if not worse, than dealing with diabetes itself.

I’m very optimistic that there will be an Artificial Pancreas (AP) available for our children to use long before there is a true cure. The reason I am not all or nothing is because I think it’s important for our children to live the best life they can with diabetes and because I want them to be as healthy as they can be when the cure does come along.

I personally feel that current AP research will lead us to technology that automates the many, many daily tasks that someone with diabetes (or their caretaker)s must do each and every single day.

Yes, she will still be hooked up to a variety of d-gadgets. But I think that the AP will give people with diabetes, like my daughter, a sense of relative freedom.

(And just as some people choose multiple daily injections over insulin pumps or vice versa, or choose to use or not to use a continuous glucose monitor, the choice is personal and individual and not right for every family.)

Here is a video of Tom Brobson, National Director, Research Investment Opportunities for JDRF, who “relates his personal experience participating in a recent, real world trial of the artificial pancreas system.”

(E-mail and feed subcribers click here for embedded video.)

Further Reading

More posts about diabetes management.

More posts about the cure for diabetes.

More posts about insulin pumps, the continuous glucose monitor, and the artificial pancreas.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy Halvorson Miller January 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Brobson spoke at JDRF’s T1D Global Path to a Cure Symposium in Redmond, WA this past October. He showed us a different video contrasting a previous AP trial, where he was hooked up to laptops and other medical machinery in a hospital, to this more recent trial where the participants stayed overnight at a B&B and ate out with the smart phone-sized AP on their arms! Progress is being made and the hot fudge sundae made me cry, too.


2 Karen January 19, 2013 at 10:54 am

Oh, WOWWOWWOWWOW!!!! I am crying, too. So amazing. I am SO thankful for JDRF and research. Amazing.


3 Aimee Croatti January 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Someone at our local JDRF chapter sent me this video several weeks ago and I, too, bawled throughout it thinking how BADLY I want this for my daughter and all T1Ds out there!! I hadn’t cried over T1D in so long, but that night it just all came out. How amazing would it be to take all the guesswork out of basals and boluses?? Truly a dream come true…


4 Mike Hoskins January 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

I agree with you, Leighann. Holding our breaths for a cure and being discouraged because progress isn’t going as fast as we hope it could go gets us nowhere toward living healthier lives with diabetes. I’m excited to see the progress the JDRF and others are making in recent years, and like you I also personally agree that this AP research will put more pieces into place in the greater D-puzzle. Brobson’s experiences are very encouraging, and I’m so glad to see he’s making the rounds at sharing those stories. Hope to meet him before long. Thanks for sharing this.


5 Bennet January 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Well said. Cure is best but better along the way is still better.


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