My Take on the Hub-bub About the Bio Hub

Yesterday there was a huge buzz in the diabetes community about the release of something that would bring a cure for diabetes within our reach.  People were excited, nervous and anxious.  Could we really see a world without testing and injecting? 

Late last night or sometime this morning (I only saw it this morning), the story broke. The Diabetes Research Institute announced that they were pursuing the concept of a “mini-organ”  that they were calling the BioHub

I have read a bit about it.  I have heard people complain that other groups are already investigating this idea.  Others asked, until we find the underlying cause, how can we “cure” anyone?  Finally there are those who say that another 5-10 years is the same line that they were told at diagnosis 5 years ago. 

I respect all of these opinions.  Personally, I am becoming more optimistic that a cure or something that will see my son live a life without testing and injecting may well happen in his lifetime.  That is something that I would not have said five years ago. 

This month marks 13 years that we have lived with diabetes.  We were never promised a cure.  We were promised a better life.  I believe that we have seen that in a lot of respects. 

When my son was first diagnosed, we had a meter that took 30+ seconds to count down and required me to cover his small finger completely with blood to have enough for a reading. The process was painful on many levels.  When we were first given a Freestyle Mini meter, I thought we had died and gone to Heaven.  The glucometer used very little blood and gave me a reading in five seconds! I would instantly know if my child was high or low.  I was so excited! 

Today we have all sorts of meters that don’t just read quickly or use a small sample size–they now show us trends, send readings to phones and other devices.  They can be downloaded without all of the cords and such we once had to order.  Even pen and paper people like me are finding it easier to upload a meter and see what it has to say. 

Insulins have also changed.  We no longer are reliant on NPH or regular insulin that require specific schedules and meal planning.  My son was lucky in that we started out on the relatively new “humalog” and I learned how to be more flexible with it and our NPH.  Today we have three rapid acting insulin choices as well as a variety of long lasting “peak-less” insulins. 

Insulin pumps have become “smarter”  and now “talk” to Continuous Glucose Monitors.  When I first heard of a CGM, it was a blinded device that was cumbersome and only available through your doctor.  You wore it with no idea if it was actually working or what it had to say.  The machine had to be returned to your diabetes clinic to be reviewed and interpreted.  13 years later, CGMs are commonly used devices that work in conjunction with some pumps. 

I have no idea if we will have a cure in 5-10 years. My best guess is that the Hub will change.  The artificial pancreas projects will be altered but we will see something amazing.   We have seen amazing changes already.  100 years ago, my son would not be living with diabetes it would have killed him.  50 years ago he would not have been using home blood glucose and ketone meters.  20 years ago he would not have been carrying around a tiny insulin pump to keep him alive.  20 years from now that pump may be sitting on his fireplace in a glass case with a sign that says “Remember when…”

Today there is more hope than we have had in previous years.  We are making progress. Slow and steady, I finally believe that we will win the race. 

Chocolate CURES diabetes!

Do you remember the chocolate bar that my son brought home before Easter holidays? The one that he was not allowed to eat?  Today we found out that this chocolate bar is not really a bar with almonds. Its a bar with special chunks that cure diabetes!

Seriously!! These small little particles that look like nuts are actually small encapsulated cells.  The coating allows them to be dissolved in the stomach and  release insulin.  Instead of being destroyed, these little guys are absorbed into the blood stream! The larger “nut” chunks go to work in the pancreas creating long term benefits.

These larger chunks are actually specially designed beta cells. They move through the body and head back to the defunct pancreas.  These amazing chunks then work with the pancreas and regenerate themselves.  After approximately a week of chocolate bars for breakfast, lunch and supper, the person with diabetes will notice substantial changes in their body and their insulin needs.

First, they will not require any insulin to cover the bars because the small particles are supplying them with just the right amount of basal and bolus insulin.  Second, they will soon not require any insulin at all because their body will quickly begin to produce its own insulin based on the regenerating beta cells.

After years of people saying “sweets cause diabetes” and parents of children with type 1 rolling their eyes and explaining how wrong they are, we are finally vindicated.  We can now say…Chocolate bars? Yes I feed them to my child with diabetes multiple times per day.  Didn’t you know? They CURE diabetes!

Oh the joy! No more needles, no more pumps, no more night time tests.  Now its just chocolate and then CURED! Its time for the “we used to live with diabetes” get togethers.  Ah what a long road but it feels so wonderful to finally have success…a CURE for diabetes!

No I have not completely lost my marbles.  While a do remain a few short of a complete set, the WEGO writers challenge for today was create a miracle cure.  Sadly, there is no miracle cure. I wish a cure was a simple and giving someone a chocolate bar three times per day. In the meantime we will keep working towards good health and funding research that may one day lead us to that goal.