I’m on the run and need your support. While I’m not fugitive, I am in fact a Cellmate on the Run.
On October 11, 2009 I will be running the Chicago Marathon with more than a hundred other Cellmates on behalf of the Chicago Diabetes Project. As you may know, both my wife and youngest son are Type 1 diabetics. There is no need to explain to the TuDiabetes and D-OC crowd how diabetes can touch one’s life. It is a constant in our household just as it is with the more than 25 million diabetics in the US alone.
If you ever spent more than thirty minutes with me, you also know that I’m an unabashed technology geek. On SuperBowl Sunday this year, I launched SugarDash in effort to help make things that make managing diabetes a little bit easier. The first product released was the Pocket Log, a modern diabetic logbook that combats a legacy ill conceived designs. In late May I released Pocket A1c, a free iPhone application that was released as “spiteware” to combat a similar application that was marketed solely on diabetics’ fear. Pocket A1c has been downloaded more than a 1,000 times from the iTunes Store and the Pocket Log has nearly 600 downloads to date. I’m currently working on a big vision idea called the Diabetic Data Cloud to help make switching diabetic devices like glucometers easier for the patient with diabetes.
My attention to diabetes and technology inevitably led me to the Chicago Diabetes Project. The CDP is an international effort of physicians, scientists and engineers led by Dr. Jose Oberholzer at University of Illinois at Chicago. The CDP has developed a therapy that allows a Type 1 diabetic to live free of insulin shots. Let me be clear – this is not a cure. The CDP uses the term “functional cure” in that the disease still exists, but the diabetic can live free of insulin shots and lead a life as if he or she did not have diabetes.
The therapy is essentially a transplant. Islet (eye-let) cells are transplanted from a human donor pancreas into the liver of the diabetic. The transplanted cells produce insulin allowing the diabetic to forego traditional insulin therapy. As with any transplant, there is a risk of rejection. However, the CDP is now working on a way to encapsulate the islet cells in a protective membrane that will eliminate the need for anti-rejection drugs. This is the part of their research that I am most excited about.
I would like to ask your consideration of a donation to support the Chicago Diabetes Project. I’ve had the opportunity to meet both Dr. Oberholzer and a diabetic now living injection free thanks to the CDP’s efforts. I am proud to be participating with Cellmates on the Run in support of CDP’s research. It is important to note that 100% of your donation is going to the research. The overhead costs of the fundraising efforts are being covered by a donation from Wrigley. You couldn’t ask for a more efficient use of your charitable dollars.
Please visit my fundraising page to make a donation of any amount. I’m glad to answer anything I can about the CDP, so please shoot me a message if you have questions. Thanks for your time and consideration.