On October 1, I was pleased to read in The Santa Barbara Independent that Congressmember Lois Capps was announcing a Health and Human Services award for diabetes research at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.
This award, made possible by the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), comes at a critical time when recent government statistics show an alarming 23 percent increase of American youth diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 2001 and 2009. This increase is certainly troubling to me, a mother of a son who must monitor his blood by pricking his fingers (day and night) and inject insulin several times a day to keep his blood sugar under control, while also measuring everything that he eats and drinks. If he does not follow this regimen, he could face very dangerous complications and even a shorter life, which keeps me up at night — in addition to checking his blood.
The SDP is credited with groundbreaking discoveries and therapies that are making great strides for people with type 1 diabetes(T1D), including progress on the artificial pancreas technology. Tying together an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor, it would automatically help my son control his blood sugars. Now in outpatient trials and closer to getting in the hands of patients like my son, the technology will also help prevent complications, which could translate into health cost savings, including Medicare.
Congressmember Capps knows how important a cure is to those impacted by T1D, and she strongly supports the SDP. Ongoing, large-scale clinical trials made possible by the SDP will provide a better understanding of the disease so it can be prevented. I am hopeful that Congress will support a multiyear renewal of the SDP so that research results can be realized and we can find a cure for my son and the 2.5 million Californians who have type 1 diabetes.
Thank you, Congressmember Capps, for standing up for my family and the rest of the diabetes community in California!