Friday, Apr. 27, 2007
Being injected with pig cells is not everyone’s idea of a health kick, but a Kiwi has stunned researchers seeking a cure for diabetes.
Ten years ago, Michael Helyer, of Auckland, was implanted with pancreatic cells from pigs in a hope that they would help balance his blood glucose levels.Today, not only are the pig cells still alive, they seem to be producing steady levels of insulin.
The findings, reported in New Scientist, have given researchers hope that xenotransplantation, or the use of animal cells in humans, could spell an end to some diseases.
Mr Helyer, now 51, was found to have type 1 diabetes when he was 22, but in 1996 was injected with microscopic capsules containing about 500 million insulin-producing cells derived from the pancreas of newly born pigs.
A recent sample of the capsules showed that many were still alive and some produced insulin. Mr Helyer has had to continue injecting insulin throughout the trial, but at much lower levels than before the transplant.
Because there was a slight chance of infection from the cells, the pigs used were taken from a population on the Auckland Islands, which had remained in isolation for about 200 years.The Auckland-based company that pioneered the treatment is hoping to follow up the success with further trials in coming months.
Because xenotransplantation is banned in New Zealand, the pig cells for future transplants will likely be injected in the United States.
It was not clear where Mr Helyer had his procedure, though New Scientist referred to labs in the US and Melbourne.
Friday, Oct. 6, 2006
There is new hope for some children suffering from Type 1 diabetes. New genetic findings mean some children may be able to do without daily injections.
You’d never suspect six-year-old, Lilly Jaffe has a chronic illness. When she was just one month old when she was diagnosed with “type one” diabetes. Doctors believed her body couldn’t produce enough insulin to control her blood sugar.
For years, Lilly’s parents, Laurie and Mike Jaffe, gave their little girl daily injections. Later, Lilly was fitted with an insulin pump to monitor her blood sugar. Twice, Lilly had seizures.
“She was shaking she was tensing up her eyes were bulging out of her head, it was something a mother never wants to see,” Laurie said.
Then Lilly’s parents heard about a new development.
Dr. Lou Philipson, The University. of Chicago: “There could be two to three thousand people in the United States alone, who are taking insulin who may not need to take insulin and that is huge.”
Lilly’s DNA was tested and it turned her cells have a specific gene mutation seen in a small percentage of type 1 diabetes patients.
The mutation is called “Monogenetic Diabetes”. And this means it responds to drugs called sulfonylureas. The drugs are in pill form and with they help the cells produce insulin.
Within days, doctors began weaning Lilly from her insulin injections. Now, no more painful daily shots. Her diabetes is controlled with the twice a day pills.
“Over the course of days we saw a miracle unfolding before us. And see that she was correcting her own blood sugar for the first time. It was absolutely awesome. It was just mind blowing,” her father said.
The genetic test is expensive but the research in this area is ongoing.
Friday, Sep. 15, 2006
A drug that makes the body more sensitive to insulin can help prevent type 2 diabetes developing in high-risk patients, new research has shown.
The disease occurs when people cannot produce enough insulin, or do not respond to it properly. Insulin is the essential hormone that helps sugars to be turned into body fuel, the British medical Journal, the lancet, said.
People with an impaired ability to regulate their use of glucose are at high risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers said Friday that they found that the drug rosiglitazone, also known by the brand name Avandia, reduced the chances of these patients developing diabetes by two thirds when combined with lifestyle changes.
A trial called Dream, conducted by Canadian scientists, investigated the effect of the drug on 5,269 high-risk adults who were either given rosiglitazone or a dummy placebo.
After three years, 280 individuals taking the drug and 658 on the placebo developed diabetes. A small risk of non-fatal heart failure was also observed in the rosiglitazone group.
The findings were published online today by The Lancet.
The researchers, led by Dr Hertzel Gerstein from the Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, Ontario, wrote: “The results of this study suggest that the addition of rosiglitazone to basic lifestyle recommendations substantially reduces the risk of developing diabetes by about two thirds, offering a novel preventive approach.”
Friday, Mar. 24, 2006
Three groups of scientists report today that they independently replicated a controversial finding: Severely diabetic mice can recover on their own if researchers squelch an immune system attack that is causing the disease.
It is a discovery that was first published in 2001 and raised the hopes of people with Type 1 diabetes, which usually occurs in puberty and afflicts an estimated half-million to a million Americans.
If the findings applied to humans, they might mean reversing a disease that had seemed incurable.
The report several years ago, by Dr. Denise Faustman of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, that the pancreas might cure itself, at least in mice, was met with skepticism.
“People just didn’t believe it,” said Dr. David Nathan, director of the diabetes center at Massachusetts General and a longtime supporter of Faustman’s. “People said you can’t cure diabetes.”
But, Nathan added, “this shows that at least in mice it has been confirmed and reconfirmed and confirmed again.”
The three new papers, by researchers at the University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, and Harvard’s Joslin Clinic are published today in Science.
The different groups calculated their cure rates in different ways but all reported that a significant proportion, though less than half of the mice, were cured.
In Faustman’s experiments, 67 percent of the mice were cured.
Dr. John Buse, director of the Diabetes Care Center at the University of North Carolina, urged caution.
“There are two possibilities,” Buse said. “This treatment works for mice but no derivation of it will ever work for humans. Or this is the paradigm leap that is necessary to find the cure for Type 1 diabetes.”
“If I was a betting person, my guess is that it probably won’t work in humans,” Buse added, explaining that all too often in science what works in mice does not work in people.
And despite their success in curing some of the mice, the three groups of researchers could not confirm another of Faustman’s findings, published in Science in 2003. There, she reported that the new insulin-secreting cells came from the spleen.
Faustman added that she could boost the animal’s response to her treatment by giving them extra spleen cells, although, she said, the extra cells were not necessary to cure the mice. Just stopping the immune system attack was sufficient, she said.
Friday, Mar. 17, 2006
Researchers at the University of Calgary have made a breakthrough by growing much-needed insulin-producing cells, which could help cure patients suffering from the worst strain of diabetes.
Scientists at the school’s Pharmaceutical Production Research Facility have been able to replicate cells that mirror the insulin-generating islets that grow in the pancreas.
Those suffering from Type 1 diabetes lack those cells and produce little or no insulin naturally.
Insulin is a hormone used by the body to break down glucose from food and use it to produce and store energy for cells.
Dr. Leo Behie, a U of C professor who heads the bioengineering research team, said while there are procedures in place to transplant islets from cadavers into living patients, in a process called the Edmonton Protocol, the supply is limited.
“The problem is there’s not enough cells and this is where bioengineering comes in,” Behie said.
“We’ve managed to expand and grow beta cells which produce insulin.”
Currently, only 0.2% of Canadians with Type 1 diabetes are able to receive islet cell transplants because of the shortage. In most cases, three donor cadavers are required to get the material needed for the transplant.
More than two-million Canadians suffer from diabetes, including 130,000 in Alberta alone.
Behie said the University team hopes to soon begin clinical trials of the replicated pancreatic cells on animals before using the cells in humans.
“We’re determined we’ll do something in five years and that’ll be major,” Behie said.
Jason Turner, 34, is a Type 1 diabetes sufferer who underwent the Ed-monton Protocol last July.
He was the 79th recipient of the procedure, which has helped him return to a normal life after he was diagnosed with the disease as an 11-year-old.
“It has changed my life completely,” Turner said. “For me, it was about having stable blood sugars.”
He said the work being done by U of C researchers could help bring peace of mind to patients, as he had to wait 10 months to undergo the procedure after donor cells became available.
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006
If a new finding by Burnham Institute and UCSD scientists holds true, millions of diabetics could someday drastically reduce their dependence on drugs and perhaps even have a cure.
In the March 1 issue of the journal Nature Medicine, Dr. Fred Levine will describe a way for tweaking ordinary adult cells in the pancreas so they become insulin-producing beta cells.
About 21 million Americans have the disease, which occurs due to the loss or malfunction of beta cells or because the body resists its own insulin. Beta cells form and live in pancreatic islet cells, an area that makes up 2 percent of the pancreas.
The theory that pancreatic cells other than islet cells could produce insulin had been discounted in a widely regarded paper published in the journal Nature in 2004.
But working on experiments with mice, Levine and his colleagues crafted what they say is “a new way of thinking.” Their theory, though, remains many years away from being tested on humans.
They discovered that when mixed with cells from pancreatic fetal tissue, non-islet pancreatic cells could be coaxed into becoming beta cells.
“What we found was that 10 percent of the cells implanted in the mouse had turned into beta cells,” said Levine, who works for the Burnham Institute and the University of California San Diego’s Rebecca and John Moores Cancer Center, both in La Jolla.
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and three private diabetes foundations.
Initially, the strategy described by Levine and his colleagues might be most applicable for people with so-called juvenile, or Type I, diabetes. This version of diabetes, which affects about 200,000 children and adolescents in the United States, occurs when a person is born with faulty or missing pancreatic islet beta cells so not enough insulin is produced.
It also shows up in people whose islet cells are mistakenly destroyed by their body’s immune system.
Theoretically, Levine said, his experimental method might be adapted to benefit the much larger group of people with Type II diabetes. With this form of the disease, the body develops resistance to insulin. Type II patients would gain greatly from a reactivation of beta cells, Levine said.
He said further testing should focus on ways to isolate the ingredients in fetal-tissue cells that provoked the non-islet pancreatic cells to become beta cells. Levine also mentioned the possibility of growing those ingredients in a laboratory or re-engineering them through molecular technology.
Monday, Feb. 20, 2006
While many consider pigs a cure for hunger, they could also harbor the key to curing Type 1 diabetes, say researchers at the University of Minnesota.
“It is clearly not a definitive study. But it is a promising study,” says Dr. Bernhard Hering of the University’s Diabetes Institute for Immunology and Transplantation.
Dr. Hering’s research, to be published this week in the journal Nature Medicine, found that 12 diabetic monkeys recovered from diabetes after receiving islet cells from pigs.
“We have now achieved prolonged reversal of diabetes after pig islet transplantation in monkeys. One step away from humans.”
Islets are the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, which regulates glucose in the human body. Diabetes attacks islets, which leads to blood sugar abnormalities and eventually threatens other organs in the body.
“Everyday, you can not spend one day in medical practice anywhere without facing problems relating to diabetes, ” remarked Dr. Hering.
The monkeys in the study all showed improvement in glucose levels and the amount of insulin needed over the first 180 days, which was the term of the study, “All the animals that have received pig islet transplants became insulin independent, and had much improved blood sugar control after transplantation.”
And what’s also intriguing is that the pigs used in the study were not altered, “Pig islet transplant survival was possible without genetic engineering of donor pigs, without coating or encapsulation of transplanted islets.”
Years of additional testing will be needed to confirm the results to the satisfaction of regulators, and to develop a supply of disease-free pigs. But that supply of pig islet cells could easily exceed the supply of human islet cells currently available.
As Dr. Hering put it, “We can do one to two thousand human islet transplants a year in the United States and we have 30,000 new cases of Type 1 diabetes. We currently have one to two million people with Type 1 Diabetes.”
The U of M is working on the problem along several parallel tracks, setting up protocol for testing of pig islets in humans and looking for ways to cut down on the side effects of anti-rejection immunosuppressive drugs.
The research has been supported by a private foundation known as the Spring Point Project, which plans to develop facilities to produce disease-free pigs. As Dr. Hering explained it, “Spring Point Project, a nonprofit organization, builds and operates so-called bio-secure barrier facilities to raise pigs, high-health pigs that meet all the FDA federal regulations for planned pig islet transplant trials.”
The U of M has pioneered the field of transplantation related to diabetes, performing the first pancreas transplant in 1966, the first human islet transplant 1974 and the first live-donor segmented pancreas transplant in 1979.
The U renewed its islet transplant focus in the year 2000 taking advantage of technological advancements in the transplant field, but even that procedure is still classified as research. The U’s goal is to get FDA approval of human islet transplantation as clinical care, which would put it in the category of medical practice.
The U’s had good results with human-to-human islet transplants, a 20-minute “infusion” procedure in which the clusters of islet cells culled from a deceased person’s pancreas are placed into a patient using needles and tubes. It’s far less invasive than a pancreas transplant. And, according to Dr. Hering’s research, it shows a lot of promise, “Success rate in terms of reversing diabetes, restoring insulin independence and normal blood sugar control is more than 90 percent.”
Assuming the FDA will eventually be satisfied with islet transplant, researchers such as Dr. Hering are looking for ways to create a reliable and plentiful supply of islet cells. Using stem cells to create islet cells is one path of research, but harvesting pig cells is one that is closer to reality in Dr. Hering’s mind.
“We think this is very promising, ” Hering told KARE-TV Sunday, “We also understand a lot of research needs to be done to make to make this type of therapy safer. In particular we have to improve immunosuppressive medication, but we believe this research and the results that are presented in the Nature Medicine article clearly indicate a critical milestone has been met in our ability to develop islet replacement therapies based on pig islets.”
Dr Hering believes this research may also help some of the 20 million Americans with Type 2 adult-onset diabetes, “I’m honored to be involved in such high impact research, which holds promise for so many diabetics.”
He noted that pigs are already playing important roles in medicine, being used as a supply of replacement heart valves and insulin, just to name a couple.
As to the age-old question about recipients taking on their donors’ traits, Dr. Hering said the 12 monkeys in the study had not become pig-like in any sense of the word, “They have maintained their identity and have functioned and behaved more as monkeys than as pigs.”
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006
A new cell transplant method has been developed by UK based scientists which will enable the cure of diabetes within 10 days. High doses of anti-rejection drugs are used for cell transplant as at present which may endanger the lives of children.
But the method developed by doctors at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital involves the removal of the clusters of cells known as islets from a donated pancreas in highly sterile conditions, according to BBC News.
The cells are then injected directly into the patient’s liver in what is a fairly simple procedure. The doctors hope that within the next five to 10 years trials will lead to the perfecting of a simple operation that can reverse the condition in both children and adults.
The new treatment may end the need for patients to have pancreas transplants or daily insulin jabs.
‘The real advantage of islet transplantation in the future is that we hope we will be able to prevent children from having to have regular insulin injections,’ researcher Paul Johnson said.
‘Also in the long term, by reversing diabetes, we hope that we will prevent the long-term conditions of the disease, which develop 20 to 30 years later, conditions such as blindness and kidney failure.’
The trials are taking place at a new 1.2 million pounds facility funded by the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation (DRWF) based within the Oxford Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006
Researchers have discovered that the animal brain plays a much bigger role in normal blood sugar control than previously believed, paving the way for new strategies that target the molecules involved in the brain’s response to insulin, that may prove beneficial in the management of diabetes in humans.
The study conducted by Michael Schwartz of the University of Washington at Seattle, and his associates, published in the January 11, 2006, Cell Metabolism, found that the brain makes a substantial contribution to insulin response.
The findings in rats suggest that therapies that boost the brain response to insulin in patients with diabetes might improve blood sugar control while lowering the required dose of the hormone, which in turn, might help to reduce side effects of insulin treatment, such as weight gain.
“Our findings suggest that, in individuals with diabetes, the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar involves the brain,” said senior author of the study, Michael Schwartz.
“This effect is not trivial; the brain makes a substantial contribution to insulin response,” he added.
For the purpose of their study, the researchers infused the brains of the diabetic rats with a chemical that limits the function of an enzyme involved in the normal insulin response, before injecting the animals with the hormone.
Without the normal brain response to insulin, the hormone therapy’s efficacy for reducing blood sugar fell by about 35%, Schwartz said.
Furthermore, they found that gene therapy interventions designed to increase the brain’s insulin response heightened the animals’ response to therapy about 2-fold.
Strategies that target the molecules involved in the brain’s response to insulin “may therefore prove beneficial in the management of diabetes in humans,” the researchers said.
Differences in brain sensitivity to the insulin hormone might also help to explain the often “huge variation in insulin requirement” among otherwise comparable diabetes patients, Schwartz said.
Thursday, Oct. 6, 2005
Drugs which could provide a breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes are being developed by scientists at the University of Ulster and are nearly ready for clinical trials.
The news came as a World Health Organisation report this week identified diabetes as one of the major health issues facing the world in the 21st century.
Diabetes deaths are set to rise in the UK alone by 25% in a decade as obesity continues to increase, according to the report.
The university scientists are developing innovative drugs which they believe represent important new therapeutic tools to help ease the burden of diabetes worldwide.
The research team, based at the university’s campus at Coleraine, Co Londonderry, discovered that modified forms of GIP – a naturally occurring molecule produced by the body – can combat key symptoms of diabetes.
They have set up a new company – Diabetica Ltd. – to develop production of the new anti-diabetic agents.
Dr Neville McClenaghan, a prime mover in the new company, said current statistics reported there were some 150 million diagnosed cases of diabetes worldwide and that the figure was set to double within 20 years.
“The holy grail of diabetes treatment is safe and effective management of blood glucose,” he said.
“We believe that novel molecules arising from our platform GIP technology should provide effective new tools to help individuals better control the condition known as Type 2 diabetes.
“That’s really what physicians are looking for at the minute – new drugs that offer improvements or enhancement over current drugs,” added Dr McClenaghan.
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005
It was supposed to be a vacation. But the Caribbean cruise turned into a nightmare last January for the Slusser family of Park City.
Laura Slusser, already suffering from juvenile diabetes, fell severely ill and had to be flown to the Miami Children’s Hospital, where she learned her kidneys were failing.
“I saw her in the bed in the Bahamas, and she looked like she was going to die,” recalls her older sister, Mary. “I felt like I was losing her.”
Today, you would never guess that Laura was so close to death’s door. The slender, wide-eyed 11-year-old is back in school, she’s playing the piano and, for the first time in years, is eating whatever she wants.
Her difficult journey started three years ago when she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. It ended last month when she received life-saving organs from a teenager who died in an automobile accident. Doctors believe Laura is the youngest person in the United States to have a kidney/pancreas transplant.
Now the preteen is on a mission to encourage lawmakers to expand embryonic stem cell research, which she believes could someday lead to a cure for diabetes.
In October, she and her family will visit Washington as a prize for winning an art calendar contest for children with kidney disease. The weekend includes a dinner in the winners’ honor and a tour of the White House.
Laura has her own agenda: She wants to meet with President Bush.
“I want to ask him to change his mind” about embryonic stem cell research, she said.
She and her parents are thinking of contacting Sen. Orrin Hatch and former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, now the secretary of Health and Human Services, for help in clinching the deal. If she has to, Laura says she will use her wish from the Make a Wish Foundation to try and arrange a meeting.
“Laura wants to do something to help other people,” said her dad, Mark.
Since contracting diabetes, she has become a spokeswoman on behalf of diabetes research.
Unlike millions of other people, however, Laura fortunately is no longer plagued by the disease because she has a new pancreas.
After coming back from Miami, Laura endured six months of kidney dialysis. She had even more stringent eating and drinking restrictions than her diabetes diet called for.
Because of the risk of infection in a catheter surgically implanted to hook up to the dialysis machine, she couldn’t swim or even shower. She was always fatigued, said her dad, who described her as “being like a wet washcloth” after her three weekly treatments, which lasted three to four hours each.
Her mother, Sherrie, and Mark aggressively searched the Internet for an answer to their sickly child’s health problems.
They say they hit the jackpot when they came across a doctor named Hans Sollinger in Wisconsin.
In May, they traveled to Wisconsin for a consultation. Other doctors had said she could lead a fairly normal life on dialysis, and a cure for diabetes was about 10 years off.
They were aware that double-organ surgery carried more risks. But they knew the toll that dialysis had on their daughter. And, with a new pancreas, she would be rid of the immense inconvenience of insulin shots and blood testing forever.
Her doctor agreed.
“Her case was very unusual,” Sollinger said. “Patients such as her have about a 30 to 40 percent chance of developing kidney failure later in life. It usually takes 20 or 30 years. Most of my patients get a kidney/pancreas transplant between 30 and 50 years old. After seeing Laura and examining her, I thought she would be a good candidate. It’s not fun growing up with diabetes.”
In late July, Laura’s parents got the call they’d been waiting for: Organs were available.
Laura and her father flew out the next day and she was quickly taken into surgery. Mary and her mother came the day after her nearly three-hour surgery.
“I think the fact that someone died and that’s how she got her organs is something she feels bad about,” Sherrie said. “We’re certainly grateful. At 11, it’s not something she should dwell on.”
After two weeks, Laura was back at home. The road to recovery was bumpy, though. Laura was admitted to Primary Children’s Medical Center twice after having reactions to her anti-rejection drugs. She finally felt better last week and was eager to start sixth grade at Ecker Hill Middle School.
“It was great seeing my friends,” she said. “They were excited I was back.”
Laura has progressed so much she even ran for the first time in years.
“She was so happy about being able to run again,” said Mary, who hugs Laura repeatedly.
Mark and Sherrie say the ordeal has brought the family together closer than they were before. They share common interests in art and play music together in their living room, which is peppered with a piano, an organ, a violin, bongo drums and a bass guitar.
Laura can now eat whatever she wants – except grapefruit because it interacts with her medications – and has been relishing chocolate bars. The only setback is having to take about 27 pills a day to ensure her body doesn’t reject the new organs.
“She’s been a trooper throughout everything,” Sherrie said. “She’s free from all of that now. The pills are a drag, but we can handle them.”
Tuesday, Jun. 21, 2005
Tilly Dunne is flying to Washington this weekend in an attempt to raise international awareness of a disease she has lived with since the age of two.
The 12-year-old also hopes to learn more about treating her diabetes.
“When I was younger I couldn’t understand why I had to have diabetes and insulin injections and why doctors couldn’t cure me,” she said.
“I would love to have just one day without having to do tests and injections and really hope that in the future a cure will be found so that I can be ‘normal.'”
Tilly will be representing the UK at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) Children’s Congress.
The congress aims to raise international awareness of type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body usually produces no insulin, which is in turn needed to regulate glucose levels in the bloodstream.
It will also help lobby the US Senate for more research funding.
Tilly, from Herefordshire, and five other international delegates will be partnered with US representatives to learn how to lobby their own governments and try to raise the profile of the condition when they return home.
“I think it is a really exciting opportunity and I can’t wait to go,” she said.
Tilly said she constantly struggled to balance her own condition.
“I have real problems maintaining a balanced blood sugar level, possibly due to my age, so I test myself very regularly.
“I also need to do this to avoid the short and long-term complications that low and high blood glucose levels can cause, but I am not always successful despite my best efforts.”
Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, currently affects about 350,000 people in the UK and is increasing by 3-4% each year across Europe.
It usually develops in childhood and insulin injections and daily blood tests are vital to ensure insulin levels are balanced.
Long-term complications can include blindness, heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke and nerve damage, and amputations may be necessary.
Tilly’s mother Domenica said that before her daughter was diagnosed, she had not idea what was wrong with her.
“Till started drinking vast amounts – pints and pints of water – and urinating very frequently,” she said.
“She also became quite tired and lost weight, but we just thought it was over- excitement due to the festive season.
“It wasn’t until New Year’s Day when she practically fell asleep whilst out for a walk that we knew something was seriously wrong.
“Our doctor did a test for diabetes and then sent us straight to the hospital where we quickly had to grasp everything that having type 1 diabetes means and learn how to give our two-year-old daughter regular injections and blood tests.”
She said the US trip would benefit Tilly and others by raising the profile of the condition.
“It is a chance for children from all over the world to get together and express solidarity, and give people a focus so they can see how children with diabetes are coping.”
Claire Pesterfield, a paediatric specialist diabetic nurse, based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, said a lot of ignorance still existed about diabetes and how to manage it.
She said type 1 diabetes could develop at any age, but was most common between the ages of five to puberty, and parents needed to be alert to the signs.
“Children show signs of drinking lots and going to the loo, they lose weight and have no energy and can get easily tired.”
Anwen Jones, chief executive of the JDRF, said Tilly and the other delegates could help to make a real difference.
“Attending the Children’s Congress is an important and rare opportunity for Tilly and the other international delegates to learn how best to engage with government in the search for a cure for type 1 diabetes.
“The UK is leading the way in many important scientific fields, including stem cell research which is producing extremely promising results.
“However as a country we are still far behind the US in terms of dedicating funds to support the search for a cure for the condition.”
Saturday, May. 28, 2005
After raising pledges, approximately 200 people took advantage of beautiful weather Saturday morning to take part in the Walk to Cure Diabetes, starting from the Bondar Pavilion, along the Sault Ste. Marie Boardwalk to the Canal and back again.
Juvenile Diabetes—unlike Type 2 Diabetes which afflicts older people—was the target of the charitable walk’s attack.
The walk was under the umbrella of the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), an international group that does research at the university level.
LTV spoke to local JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Committee Chair Frank Addante.
“We’re optimistic we’re going to find a cure, there’s some amazing research going on in this country and abroad and we feel good that the money raised today will make a contribution towards that cure.”
“This is our second walk in the Sault, last year was an incredibly successful year, we were one of the top ‘first time walks’ in the country.”
“Last year we raised 40,000 dollars, which is phenomenal. This year, we’re hopeful to at least get close to that amount.”