Will There Be a Cure for Diabetes? (Continued)
With so much happening in various cell replacement strategies and genetic manipulation, engineering, and all around examination, I do believe a breakthrough will occur. I have also toured the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI). It's no secret that I work for the DRI, but let's be very clear about this: I work here because I believe in it. If someone showed me someplace better, I would be gone in a New York minute. To those who know me, they know I have done it before. This is not my job, this is my life.
Let me tell you what you will find at the DRI and why I encourage all to tour and see for themselves. When you tour the DRI, you will see the dedication and the passion of the scientists. You can feel the drive and the tunnel vision to curing diabetes. The collaboration is second to none. All three stages of research—basic, preclinical, and clinical—are all happening in one building. Finding a cure for diabetes is as much about philosophy as it is about breakthrough. Why would anyone support a project where the researchers are not willing to share their findings? It makes no sense. If you do not sign, literally, that you are willing to share your findings with your DRI colleagues and with others in the scientific community, then you will not work at DRI.
Why is it that the JDRF, the ADA, the NIH, and so many other organizations and private donors fund the work of the DRI? Because the research is good, strong, collaborative, and surely worthy of a closer look. The research was awarded grants based on the merit of the work. And it is the main reason I believe that there will be a cure in my children's lifetime.
Anyone who is hoping for a cure for diabetes should come and tour the DRI. Not because you should give a donation, not because you should run an event, and not even because you should be active. But in this day and age when it is suggested by so many that the flame of a cure is diminishing, you should come and tour the DRI because you will touch hope. If you want to know what that is like, and I cannot explain it, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones.
I'm furious that so many have given up hope for a cure. This fight will not stop until one hundred percent effort is given to cure it. No one should have been told so many broken promises that it breaks their spirit to continue. No one should have had their spirit broken so many times that they just do not believe it anymore. If anything, more needs to be done, not less. It is the dollars of philanthropy that will fund fabulous ideas.
DRI opened its doors for one reason, and that focus has not changed one iota. That is the way it will be until they are closed for good when the job is done. Diabetes is a war. I do not care how many battles it takes, and I have no time to hear rhetoric, I have heard it all before.
No matter the odds or what people say, I will continue working, searching, and learning, because this war will be fought until the job is done. There will be a cure for diabetes. I owe that belief to my kids, and I believe it now more than ever.
I am a Diabetes dad.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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