Curing Diabetes

Patient Stories

They are different ages, reside in different zip codes, and have lived for a varying number of years with type 1 diabetes. They are the DRI’s clinical trial participants, whose lives have been changed for the better through innovative research advancements. DRI scientists are improving the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes through continued research. And additional DRI clinical trials will continue to benefit many more patients while advancing progress toward to our ultimate goal of a biological cure. View their stories:

Ryan Ward, diagnosed at age 12

Shortly after Ryan’s diagnosis, the Ward family of Georgia learned about an innovative clinical trial underway at the DRI. Ryan was accepted into the POSEIDON Study, which is testing whether two oral medications (vitamin D and omega-3) may slow-down or stop the immune system’s attack and preserve Ryan’s insulin-producing cells. Ryan and his dad talk more about the trial and what they’re seeing so far.

Richard Gurwitz, diagnosed at age 4

Richard Gurwitz’s parents were one of the original five families who started the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation back in the 1970s. Amazingly in 2001, Richard was able to benefit from the islet transplantation research they worked so hard to fund: “I wouldn’t be around today if I hadn’t received that transplant,” he says.

Wendy Peacock, diagnosed at age 17

Wendy Peacock is the first patient in the DRI’s BioHub clinical trial: “I’m still processing all of it; it’s surreal to think that I can go to sleep at night and not worry that my blood sugar’s going to drop. It’s like a weight that’s been lifted.”

Karla Edge, diagnosed at age 6

“It feels like a whole new way of life. It feels fantastic! It gives me chills just thinking about it – how my life was before compared to how, it’s like freedom…there’s no longer that worry for my or my family…I hope that by the research they’re doing at the DRI, that it enables other people to live the life I’m living now.”

Chris Schuh, diagnosed at age 30

“The fact that it has worked so long is an incredible delight. To not worry about testing every time you walk out the door or having to test 10 times a day…I watched my only daughter get married, my husband and I are both retired and enjoying life…I’m happy to be alive! The cure is coming. It will happen in your lifetime…do not dismay”

Jill Eastman, diagnosed at 18 months

“I wanted to live a normal life…I’ve lived these years with freedom and sense of peace in my body…I know today what it’s like to feel good and to want to get out of bed every day.”

Victoria Balistreri, diagnosed at age 8

“I’ve gone through everything with the pump, the syringe, I’ve pretty much seen it all in my lifetime…I don’t take any shots, I don’t have any pump…So I cannot tell you how amazing that is.”

Randi Fibus-Caster, diagnosed at age 5

“I’ve been off of insulin for nine years…I don’t have insulin reactions. I don’t have highs and lows. I’m perfectly normal – like my quality of life is so perfect. I’m like a new person and I have no side effects.”