The specialists tell us about the possibilities of finding a cure for diabetes.
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The Future of Diabetes Male: What is exciting in the field of Type I Diabetes, we are making great strides in terms of the research and it is not inconceivable that we may find a cure that is going to be available to most Type I Diabetics. Dr. Pierse: The problems that arise as a consequence of diabetes in children are the ones that hopefully would be abolished with better management transplant, et cetera when it comes to an art form that is not yet been achieved and will be hopefully achieved for a lot of our who children who are diagnosed today. Dr. Shapiro: We have many desperate patients who are waiting out on transplant today and we cannot transplant them all because we do not have enough organ donors to go around. We are desperately short of organ donors for islets, but also for other life-saving procedures too such as liver, heart, lung, kidney transplants. Tony: If there is a cure for diabetes, the joy would just be incredible. We could live a normal life; enjoy a lot of things that are very tough on a diabetic now. The kids would have a lot more freedom. They could be kids. Female: If I did not have hope and if there was not research going on, you kind of feel like you are in an end, like—what else? What else can they do? I believe in preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. Wende: It is going to get better and better and there is going to be a cure, and the more people that know, the more we learn the better off we are. Male: Who is to know that there is no cure? One year, ten years out and that you do not have to reach the point of real deterioration or real complications. Male: As our population ages, the incidents of diabetes will increase. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2025, there will be 300 million people with diabetes worldwide. Male: As the rest of the world modernized and as our hunting and gathering genes continue to exert their efforts, we are seeing more obesity, more weight gain, and more Type II Diabetes coming on the scene. Female: Now that I am 70, I will and I hope that I can live long enough with diabetes to help my children and my grandkids. I want to see them one day, get married and maybe I will have great grandchildren. Joseph: I got a couple of pictures of them sitting in the President’s chair with a pen their hand and I can only imagine that 20 to 25 years down the road, the changes that they would make but it is quite encouraging and it causes me to say I want to live as long as I can to see that become a reality. Male: Well, we have four grandchildren and we have one that is six years old and another one is going to be four years old the next month, and we have two twins that are going on two years old. So, there are a lot of work and grandma and grandpa can help on lot and I am happy that I am in the position of being able to do that. Male: Unfortunately, Type II Diabetes does involve a lot of resources in terms of treatment, and it would be a very expensive load on countries, particularly in developing countries to have an ever-increasing number of Type II Diabetes. Male: Agencies including the American and Canadian Diabetes Association work endlessly to educate persons with diabetes and their families, and to raise support for ongoing research. Progress is being made. Dr. Shapiro: I personally think we are tantalizing the clues to the point where we have a cure for diabetes. We are not there yet we still have a lot more work to do. We are tantalizingly close. Male: In 1999, a team led by Dr. James Shapiro, including Dr. Edmond Ryan, Dr. Jonathan Lakey, and Dr. Ray Rushut, developed the Edmonton Protocol for Islet Cell Transplantation. As a result, carefully selected individuals have become insulin-free. Female: My dreams—I would like to be a doctor. I really, really would. Male: Science is working really hard because diabetes has a huge, huge population and to think that there is a lot of people that are working and trying to resolve that. Stay healthy until tho
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