"On July 27 1921 two Canadian scientists at the University of Toronto,
Frederick Banting and Charles Best, successfully isolate insulin--a
hormone they believe could prevent diabetes--for the first time.
Within a year, the first human sufferers of diabetes were receiving
insulin treatments, and countless lives were saved from what was
previously regarded as a fatal disease. Diabetes has been recognized
as a distinct medical condition for more than 3,000 years, but its
exact cause was a mystery until the 20th century. At that time, the
only way to treat the fatal disease was through a diet low in
carbohydrates and sugar and high in fat and protein. Instead of dying
shortly after diagnosis, this diet allowed diabetics to live--for
about a year. A breakthrough came at the University of Toronto in the
summer of 1921, when Banting and Best successfully isolated insulin
from canine test subjects, produced diabetic symptoms in the animals,
and then began a program of insulin injections that returned the dogs
to normalcy. On November 14, the discovery was announced to the world.
On January 23, 1921, they began treating 14-year-old Leonard Thompson
with insulin injections. The diabetic teenager improved dramatically,
and the University of Toronto immediately gave pharmaceutical
companies license to produce insulin, free of royalties. By 1923,
insulin had become widely available, and the scientists were awarded
the Nobel Prize in medicine." ~ History.com
Today I want to say thank you to Banting and Best. I owe you a debt of gratitude deeper than the Precipices of the Grand Canyon.
Because of you...my boys can live.
Because of you...my boys can see, walk, laugh, and play.
Because of you...my boys can learn and go to school.
Because of you...my boys can jump and play sports. They can run and play with their friends.
Because of you...I count carbs...and take for granted daily how lucky I am to do so.
Because of you...I insert needles into my boys and don't even blink an eye, because I know it saves their life every time I do.
Because of you...we don't live in a hospital.
I take it all for granted. I think, "Where is the cure?" I think, "Why is this so hard?" I think, "My boys deserve better!"
But today, through these tears of thankfulness, I don't think those things at all.
Today I think, "It has been 90 years, why can't everyone afford and have access to insulin?" I think, "Why must families watch their child die because insulin is not available?" I think, "Even in the USA there are families struggling to keep insulin in the fridge."
I think, "Why is my family so blessed?"
Yes we have three boys who have Type 1 Diabetes. But I have a cabinet in my house that looks like this:
And I have insulin in my fridge...so much I almost cannot contain it:
Sure it is all just a few months in supplies...and sure, that is a sad thing in itself, but I feel overwhelmingly grateful that we have these advances.
YES, a cure would be nice...but in the meantime, I'm going to work on looking at what I have, rather than what I don't.
Because as it turns out...right now, what I have is more than enough.