We R the Cure

Seeking Cures and Cheating Destiny

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The Frederick Banting Foundation: Raising New Capital To Support Unrecognized Technologies

The Frederick Banting Foundation welcomes support from other like minded donors.  We operate in the spirit of Dr. Frederick Banting who discovered insulin in four years with little funding.

Dr. Frederick Banting, Right, and his team of scientists discovered insulin 90 years ago.

Dr. Frederick Banting and his team discovered insulin 90 years ago.

The Frederick Banting Foundation seeks to make transformative investments where our capital can generate significant scientific project towards improving the lives of those suffering with Type 1 Diabetes and eventually towards a cure.  All research projects are personally selected by those suffering with or caring for those with Type 1 Diabetes.  The Foundation frequently partners with leading sponsors of research such as the National Institute of Health, JDRF and the University of Virginia.

We seek to be good stewards of our causes.  The Board contributes generously to the Frederick Banting Foundation.  We also keep Foundation operating costs to an absolute minimum and as a result there is virtually no overhead. This group was established in 2011 by Richmonders Fred and Susan Russell, whose son, William, is living with Type 1 Diabetes.

To discuss a donation call Fred Russell at 804-648-4802 or email him at Fred@BantingFoundation.com.

The Frederick Banting Foundation’s “investment” strategy is:

  • to provide funds over several years as a source of more permanent capital,
  • to support projects that might not otherwise get funded especially for projects offering  a compelling risk/reward balance,
  • to avoid supporting institutional overhead,
  • to have ongoing access to project leaders,
  • to receive reports outlining performance to expectations,
  • to involve other like-minded donors, and
  • to obtain confirmatory due diligence in advance of funding.

Utilizing our venture capital experience, the Foundation hopes to select promising research projects where the Frederick Banting Foundation’s funds can accelerate unrecognized or under-appreciated technologies where we believe our funding can be a catalyst to stimulate rapid development or adoption.

Article Reprint Courtesy of The Frederick Banting Foundation


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FDA Grants Approval For First Outpatient Artificial Pancreas Trials In The USA; A Long Overdue Step Forward!

Editor’s Note: Dr. Boris Kovatchev of the University of Virginia gave this NEWS FLASH to a sell-out crowd attending the annual JDRF Gala held March 17th at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. Later, Dr. Kovatchev told me that his Center for Diabetes Technology team expects to start screening potential trial participants in late April. The “outpatient” trials will be conducted in a Charlottesville area hotel located in close proximity to the UVA Medical Center. This is NOT — THE CURE. But the APP is advanced technology that will — hopefully within 3 years — be available to help Type 1D Americans achieve better glucose control, better A1cs and better health — while we ALL keep working on regeneration, autoimmune research and PREVENTION of this chronic disease! — Mike Anderson

UVA Researchers Start Outpatient AP Closed Loop Human Trials

The Center for Diabetes Technology Team at UVA is part of a worldwide Artificial Pancreas Consortium working to bring a safe and high-tech Closed Loop System to Americans with Type 1 diabetes in the next few years!

NEW YORK, March 19, 2012 — JDRF applauds the recent approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the first outpatient artificial pancreas trial in the United States, marking a critical development in the effort by JDRF and its allies to bring this innovative and lifesaving diabetes technology to people with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

The JDRF-funded study will test an artificial pancreas (AP) system’s ability to function outside of a hospital setting, and is similar to the current outpatient trials being conducted in Europe.

The study is part of the first outpatient trials using an approach developed by the JDRF-supported Artificial Pancreas Consortium, an international research group including teams from Montpellier University Hospital (France), the Universities of Padova and Pavia (Italy), and the Universities of Virginia in Charlottesville and of California in Santa Barbara (USA).

“We commend the FDA for its leadership and this concrete step in meeting its commitment to accelerate the development of artificial pancreas systems. These technologies could truly transform the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes, enabling them to live longer and healthier lives, and preventing some of the personal and financial toll diabetes places on our nation,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., assistant vice president of treatment therapies for JDRF. “While this is a small feasibility study, this is a major step forward in the field of artificial pancreas research and we congratulate the researchers and the FDA on this important milestone.”

The approval of this milestone study follows a major 18-month long effort by JDRF and allies to ensure a clear and reasonable regulatory pathway for outpatient artificial pancreas studies, and ultimately for AP systems to be approved and made available by the FDA. JDRF-funded studies have shown improved clinical outcomes from early trials of prototype AP systems.  In early 2011, JDRF proposed guidance to the FDA, based on recommendations from an external expert panel.  In the following months, over 100,000 people in the diabetes community signed JDRF’s petition, and numerous leading clinical organizations, as well as over 60 Senators and 250 Representatives joined JDRF in urging FDA to act. The FDA met its promised deadline and released draft guidance for AP systems on December 1, 2011.

JDRF recently completed an evaluation of the draft FDA AP guidance, and submitted comments to FDA on March 3rd.  JDRF believes that the draft contains many positive elements that will encourage research and development of artificial pancreas technologies and lead to their eventual availability in the U.S.

“While there were some areas of concern in the guidance, we have begun a dialogue with FDA about these issues, and we will continue to urge the agency to revise these in the guidance before it is finalized so that we will continue to see more outpatient trials approved, and people with diabetes will ultimately have access to these lifesaving technologies as soon as possible,” added Kowalski. JDRF’s comments can be read here.

Joana Casas, 212.479.7560, mcasas@jdrf.org

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Free Educational Event For Families, Caregivers Of Children With Diabetes March 24 In RIC — RSVP Now!

Unfortunately, there are no “days off” if you’re living with Type 1 diabetes.

Country Music Star George Canyon Will Entertain At Free Educational Event March 24 In Richmond, Va. Thanks to Animas and VCU Children's Hospital For Sponsoring This Community Event!

George Canyon, Country Music Singer, Pilot and Family Man Living With Type 1 Diabetes Will Perform March 24. Thanks to Animas Insulin Pumps and VCU's Children's Hospital for Hosting This Community Event!

The Sugar Highs N Lows — the daily grind of finger sticks, carb counting, insulin dosing, low blood sugar emergencies and “supply chain management” —  are a full-time job for me and the 3 million Americans living and coping with Type 1D. I received my diagnosis as a young adult and I’ve been blessed to have a loving spouse, supportive children and a few good friends to lean on in the good and bad times.

Now imagine you’re a child and you develop this chronic disease? It’s a staggering punch. When a young child or teen-ager  in the family gets diagnosed, EVERYONE in the family gets buckled in for the rollercoaster ride. But there is hope and strength in numbers and that’s why your family needs to attend the March 24 event hosted by Animas. This free workshop will offer educational sessions, tips, and strategies for children and families living with diabetes.

Helping each other is critical to managing this chronic disease and overcoming the setbacks. Together, We R the Cure until there is a cure.

Registration starts at noon. Special guest, country music star, George Canyon will be performing and speaking later in the afternoon. Space is limited for this event. You must RSVP.

Location: Mount Vernon Baptist Church
11220 Nuckols Road
Glen Allen, VA 23059
(Parking is Included)

Date/Time: Saturday March 24, 2012
12:00pm – 6:00pm
Registration Begins:  12:00pm
Opening Ceremony Begins at: 12:30pm
Speaker Programs Begin at 1:00pm

RSVP: To Register either Email Joe Manriquez at Jmanriq@its.jnj.com or Call Joe at 1-804-248-9093

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Giving Our Kids Roots And The Wings To Fly: I Am No Longer My Son’s Pancreas — Drew Is In Charge

By Lauri Savage
Second in a 2-part Post

Lauri tells a Mom's Story of Sending Her Son to College

Lauri Savage, right, concludes her 2-part series on a parent's fear, hope and joy of giving her son, Drew, the ability to manage his Type 1 diabetes while living on his own.

As I write this post, my son, Drew,  has returned to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia after his final college spring break.  In about 2 months, he will be a college graduate.

I still remember when we brought him to JMU in the late summer of 2008. I am going to fast forward through my son’s upset stomach on the way to college, our leaving him in his dorm room when he was not feeling very well, and the pain of saying good-bye.

The first week of settling in was challenging for him, as it is for all college freshmen and their parents. However, it became much worse on a Sunday evening.  My son accidentally mixed up his insulin doses, injecting himself with 22 units of humalog, a short-acting insulin, instead of Lantus, a 24-hour slower release insulin.

If you are following this blog, then you know that injecting that much rapid acting insulin is dangerous and scary, as it will lower blood glucose levels too fast.  Luckily, my son realized his mistake and phoned us.  He consumed sugar, ice cream and sweets to balance out the rapid effects of the insulin.  But the insulin was too fast for him.

Ultimately, another resident advisor in his dormitory was called and came to help.  We were on the phone with her, and with Drew’s roommate.  Having the roommate’s cell phone number was a lifesaver, as he stayed in touch with us.  It was necessary to call 911, and our son spent several hours in the hospital emergency room getting his blood sugar stabilized. Although JMU is only two hours away from our home in Richmond, it seems much further when your only child has type 1 diabetes.

While this was not the ideal way to start college life, I always try to find the silver lining.  My son showed maturity and responsibility by knowing when to reach out, calling us to keep us up to date, and ultimately taking care of himself.  He learned early on that he could handle an emergency living on his own.

I think that is a big part of our job as parents of children with diabetes — We must help them transition to adults in charge of their disease.  And we should always be there to support them in the background, because living with diabetes is an ongoing challenge.  Until we find a cure.

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Elite Ironman Triathlete Jay Hewitt Speaking In RIC March 15; You’re Invited To Meet Him

Elite Triathlete Jay Hewitt

Jay Hewitt is the only athlete with Type 1 diabetes to qualify for the United States National Triathlon Team. Photo courtesy of empoweryourhealth.org.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease with real life-threatening complications. But diabetes does not stop us from living, striving and thriving. In fact, the Type 1Ds that I’ve met are a motivated and active bunch of doers. I bet this guy could teach us all a thing or two about winning the race against diabetes?

Elite Ironman Jay Hewitt

Elite Ironman Jay Hewitt is coming to Richmond on March 15. RSVP to Amy Landing now if you want to get a seat. But you'd better hurry! Photo courtesy of Jay Hewitt's Blog.

Jay Hewitt has a vision. He’s driven to complete everything he begins, everyday. Jay is a dynamic speaker, successful lawyer and gifted triathlete. He doesn’t let anything slow him down or keep him from having a positive outlook on life. Not even diabetes. Listen to Jay’s own soundbite:

“I am an Ironman Triathlete, living with Type 1 diabetes since 1991. I started racing triathlons and marathons in 2000, just to prove that diabetes would not stop me. I was not very good, but I was relentlessly determined to get better, beat this disease. I love the pain of the training, the race, but especially The Finish Line.”

Jay Hewitt is the only athlete with Type 1 diabetes to qualify for the U.S. National Triathlon Team and he’s a motivational and inspirational speaker. You are invited to come meet him but you need to RSVP now to get your seat.

When: Thursday, March 15, 2012
6:00pm Reception and Dinner
6:30pm Program with Jay Hewitt

Where: Crowne Plaza Richmond West
6531 West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23230

Act Now!

RSVP by Friday, March 9th
Contact Amy Landing at alanding@insulet.com or (804) 317-4036