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Thanks to the benevolence and wisdom of some caring parents of a child with diabetes, this was a wonderful week for research funding. These incredible parents wish to remain anonymous, but they were among us as friends last year at the CWD Conference in Orlando! As always, thanks to Children with Diabetes (, Jeff Hitchcock's award winning web site. This site allows us to make a difference as a team.

An award in the amount of $50,000 was made to Professor Bob Elliott and the Diatranz team from New Zealand. During his presentation, he showed slides of patients who received the porcine islet cell transplants. Because the islets are transplanted along with sertoli cells in an encapsulation device, NO IMMUNOSUPPRESSION is used. Five of the first twelve are doing extremely well, and one has been completely off insulin for several months. There are no complications among any of the patients, and five of twelve were able to significantly reduce or eliminate insulin. Our funding will help with the next 12 patients who will receive islets, and they will not need to travel as far. The encapsulation device will be significantly refined and improved. My hope is that ten of the next twelve will come off insulin. This is an amazing start, in humans, with an abundant source of clean islets, and this is without immunosuppression!

A personal note: One T cell NOD mouse researcher in the audience vociferously expressed his opinion that NOD mice should be cured first. Dr. Elliott replied calmly and explained that his goal was to cure children rather than mice. It was difficult not to stand and provide an ovation. We can cure NOD mice over 100 different ways now. I wish our children had the same menu of choices.

An award for $25,000 was also awarded for a human islet cell transplant center which is comparing the Type 1 human patients with the CFRD patients. Most of the team either has a child with diabetes or they are diabetic themselves. To get to their lab, they walk through a waiting room of kids just like ours every day. Many of them go home to check their own child's bg levels every night, or they worry about their own bg levels as they work in the labs.

An update was received today on a primary prevention trial our foundation has been promoting. I also met with part of the team in the morning about collecting more samples. We will never forget the other side of the equation. We must ensure siblings and our grandchildren do not get diagnosed with diabetes. The best time to prevent autoimmunity may be prior to the start of autoimmunity. A corporate friend has agreed to sponsor all placebos, samples and also many researchers and staff to help.

How You Can Help

Want to help find a cure? Here's how you can help:

Let me know if I can answer any questions. There is some amazing research we can fund as a team.

Thanks for your help!
Sonia Cooper - mom to Matthew, dx'd at age one, and sister to Tanya, dx'd at age 20

Posted December 9, 2001

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Last Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 19:28:21
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