Fellow Grinder – The Diabetes Advocate, Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas

The DDG recently met Dave Thomas, a T2D who raised a ton of cash for the American Diabetes Association, Tour de Cure.  He was a total hoot and fulfilled the DDG mission of Real Support For The Diabetic Life, by honestly answering the questions we presented.

1. What would you like to tell all of those people who don’t understand the type 2 diabetes diagnosis?  All the people that I run into who don’t understand diabetes have never taken the time to look into it or someone with diabetes hasn’t taken the time to explain it to them.   There are a lot of stereotypes associated with being diabetic.  I would like for them to ask me about it when they see me checking my sugar, or in my case taking some insulin.  It would open up a great conversation about my diabetes and an opportunity to educate them.  If it’s someone I know pretty well I could share what to look for if I am high or low.  Just about everybody in my office knows now that I have diabetes.  It didn’t always used to be that way.   I still get the occasional remark,  “you can’t eat that, you’re diabetic”.  I just smile and talk to them later.

2. You’ve been a diabetes activist and fundraiser for a few diabetes organizations. What advice could you give them in order to get more people involved?  You have to be passionate about it.  Sharing about diabetes and educating people whenever and wherever you can.   You can wait to raise money at the time of the event but then that’s is all you do.  If you want to bring awareness to the facts and the effects of diabetes then you have to be an advocate year round.

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Tuesday Topic: Putting Stem Cells In My Body?

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Viacyte, a San Diego based regenerative health/drug company, set off ripples of hope and relief in the diabetes community.  We’ve been dreaming of drinking coffee without blood sugar spikes, running an hour without being low for the next hour, and not having to smother my pump’s low battery alarm during meetings.

Here’s a quick review of the announcement—Viacyte is moving forward with an application, to the FDA, to initiate Phase I/II clinical trials in Type 1 diabetes patients.  They’re testing safety and efficacy of an implantable device that secretes insulin through enclosed stem cells, turned to pancreatic beta cells, effectively removing the need for diabetics to take insulin.  Found on Viacyte’s website, here’s their grandiose take on the product’s possibilities:

“In short, ViaCyte’s VC-01 combination product has the potential to transform the way diabetes care is managed. The product could be a virtual cure for type 1 diabetes and an important new therapy for insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes.”

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