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Did 2015 Deliver Enough for People Living with Diabetes?

"Please come in and sit down 2015, let's chat," said The Boss

Knowing his reputation as someone who didn't waste time—or have time for people who did—2015 sat down and swallowed hard.

"So how did you think it went this year?" The Boss asked 2015.

2016Fortunately, 2015 had anticipated the question and fired back a well prepared response. "It was a good year, sir. Much was accomplished."

Silence.

2015 continued.

"Here's a sampling of how I've been spending my time," he said ticking off items from a long list on a piece of paper he was holding:

  • Sanofi’s introduced a new inhaled insulin, Afrezza, which was a well- received product and made life easier for many people living with diabetes.
  • The unconference, which brought together people living with diabetes. They came from all walks of life and brain stormed many ideas.
  • An exciting agreement between Google and Dexcom that could lead to the development of better, smaller and less expensive devices.
  • The new Accu-check meter which may be adaptable to multiple technogical uses in the near future.
  • The unprecedented educational outreach to stop undiagnosed type 1 diabetes before life-threatening DKA occurs. (DKA is an acronym for diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones because it doesn't produce enough insulin.) 
  • The concerted efforts of the National Association of School Nurses to increase awareness about undiagnosed type 1 diabetes in the school nurse population. Lack of awareness has long been a problem. 
  • The tremendous advocacy work of DPAC (Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition) on behalf of patients with diabetes which made getting behind pro-diabetes legislation and other government initiatives as easy as hitting a button.  

2015 stopped to catch his breath, then added: "We even got Reegan’s Rule passed and it's the law now. That's right, I said law. The law encourages doctors and family medical teams to teach famiies about the warning signs of Type 1 Diabetes beginning at  birth to age 5. These are all GREAT initiatives, don't you agree?"

The Boss pondered the news. He was thinking hard. "There is no doubt of these accomplishments, but I can't help but return to my original mission in bringing you in..."

Feeling a tad defeated, 2015 looked down at the carpet. A long pause, finally a whisper:  "A cure. You bought me in to deliver a diabetes cure and I fell short."

"Every year the goal is the same to find a cure. In your defense, there was a decent amount of promising scientific advancements in 2015, too: Faustman Lab entered Phase II of a large, clinical study; ViaCyte moved closer to establishing a device to hold insulin producing cells; Dr. Melton’s beta cells from stem cell discovery is being solidified in his lab and the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) DRI’s BioHub entered the initial stages of Phase I Clincal trials enabling a new means of transplanting insulin producing cells in actual patients…..all were very impressive."

Another long pause and finally The Boss spoke: "I’m sorry 2015. I have no choice but to let you go. You have failed at the one thing you were bought here to do—there's still no cure. I'm afraid you're through."

2015 slowly stood up. The weight of the failure was beginning to sink in. It would be up to 2016 to take over and try to be the year that a cure for diabetes is finally developed.

"I am sorry I disappointed you, Boss. I worked hard at ending this disease; very, very hard."

“To be honest with you 2015, this was probably one of the most promising years I've seen in some time but it’s the end game we seek.  The cure is just so needed by so many and it’s the high bar of which all else must be compared.  Without it, we have no choice but to move on.  Hopefully 2016 can build upon your successes.   Thank you for your service.”

They both nodded at each other and 2015 left the building.

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