My daughter has type 1, her cousin has type 1 and her uncle has type 1, so at diabetes camp every year we get my son tested through TrialNet. My husband and I were tested the first year and now they don’t test us any more, we’re too old too.
And actually we do it not only because we feel like we are helping out with the research, but also because it seems as if the research is showing that they are having pretty good luck at stopping the progression of the disease if they can diagnose it early on. They can save the functioning islet cells from being completely destroyed. http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=106480
I think that the first “cure” will be that they will stop the progression of the disease. This won’t help our kids or adults that have already been diagnosed and have gone through the honeymoon phase with no more working islet cells, but hopefully at that point no more kids (or adults) will have to deal with this disease progressing to the point of needing insulin to stay alive. And if my non-d child ends up showing the precursors for diabetes at least he will be in the research pipeline and hopefully at the front of the line for this new treatment.
But in talking to a lot of other parents at camp many of them do not want to know if their non-d children have a predisposition for the disease. It would be scary to get that envelope from TrialNet and have it show that he may get Diabetes. But honestly, that chance is there already. And while I may hoover and fret every time he gets a runny nose thinking this is it, the virus that’s going to push his immune system over the edge, I still think it’s important to further the research. We’ve got to stop this disease somehow, and understanding how the body works, or breaks down, is a step in that direction. I don’t want my non-d “baby” poked and have to have blood drawn any more than the next guy, but my daughter with D has to deal with the poking and blood draws and it’s not fair either. I hate this disease and I’m going to do what I can to help stop it, and yes my poor son is too young to have a say in it so I made the choice for him and maybe that’s selfish and crappy of me, but I feel strongly about it. And although he doesn’t like getting his blood drawn, he does it without too much fuss and I like to think that he knows that it’s important.
I’ll get off my soap box now.