In the Trenches: Diabetes Dad

Yeah, I get it. We’ve heard it for many years. The idea that pharma companies or the government are behind the stopping of it. The notion that we should not get our hopes up. The idea that it could never happen. I have been at this for more than 23 years and the one thing that keeps me going each and every day is that one day I will see my children cured of this disease.

Now my definition of a cure may not be your definition of a cure; they may not match exactly, and that’s fine. My idea is that something biologically driven manages my children’s blood sugars with insulin delivery. Now to be clear, the day the Bionic/artificial pancreas does become a reality, that will be a great tool. It will be a series of electronic devices to help manage. Again, great tools.

I’m not chasing windmills here as my friend Don Quixote does in the story. I am chasing the real belief that we should never abandon the hope for a cure. We should never accept the fact that abandoning the hope is a possibility. It should not be a fluffy kind of “well sure there is a cure” but little of our effort will go there. We need a full court press continually until we reach our goal. Organizations and government alike need to be continually challenged on this drive.

We are still fine tuning and making better the use of glucometers and insulin pumps. The B/AP (‘BAP”-a superhero term meaning Bionic or Artificial Pancreas-a new word for your vocabulary) that you hear about now will not be the “BAP” of tomorrow, and that is a good thing. It will evolve just as the pumps and glucometers did and do to this day.

Insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors are all great tools also. I want it where there is none, or very little, human intervention in managing this disease. I’m not under the false belief that these management tools will be anywhere near the way my child’s pancreas worked before diagnosis. They, hopefully, will surely work better than what is available now, but to me, that is not the end goal. That is just not good enough.

But through it all, I do not want places like the Diabetes Research Institute and all those research places out there to ever abandon the hope that we may have some close mimic to the pancreas. We need to keep driving these organizations to work harder, stronger, and we need to continue to support their efforts.

I always have and in all ways believed in new management tools. I believe in them with all my heart and soul. But if it’s all the same to doubters and naysayers, I will also hold on to my dream of one day finding a cure for this disease. It’s what drives me every day. I cannot, and will not, ever abandon the very thing that got me started in this world in the beginning.

As the song states, I will go into hell in search of that heavenly cause…no matter how far. This, to me, is my quest, and it is not an impossible dream. It’s a dream that we need to pursue and must pursue. For me, my kids deserve nothing less.

I am a diabetes dad.

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