From Arlington, Virginia, USA:
My beautiful three year old little girl was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I am devastated and in need of some hope. Can you offer any thoughts on new/upcoming products/techniques such as non-invasive testing/insulin administration, and speculation as to whether you think this disease will be cured and if so, the most general idea of when?
In September 1989, my two year old daughter, Marissa, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, so I understand well what you are feeling. Let me first say that a diagnosis of diabetes should not be viewed as devastating. Given the standards of care available today, there is no reason that your daughter should not live a long and wonderful life. And, there is no reason that she should not be able to do anything that she wants to do. With today's fast-acting insulin analogs, insulin pumps, long-acting analogs, 5-second glucose monitoring, and the prospect of continuous, alarming, minimally invasive sensing just around the corner, there is every reason to be very optimistic.
As for a cure, every year since my daughter was diagnosed I've heard that there will be a cure in ten years. I still hear that today from some people, though more feel that a cure is much more complicated than previously imagined and that it may be many more years away, if at all, for people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This is not meant to discourage you, for I remain very optimistic about my daughter's future, regardless of whether a true cure is found. Scientists and doctors from around the world are working hard to find a cure using a variety of techniques. Many are also working on better therapies, such as continuous sensing and drug treatments to prevent or reverse complications.
The best advice I can offer you and your family is to realize that while your life has changed, your life's goals and plans need not. It may just take a little more planning.
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