“I have taken over 50,000 injections. I am profoundly grateful for every one of them”

Canada: Home Of The World’s First Miracle Drug

“I have been living with diabetes for 28 years. In my lifetime thus far, I have taken over 50,000 injections. I am profoundly grateful for every one of them”

“Managing diabetes is ceaseless — a perpetual mathematical equation between what you are eating, your insulin dosages and all the other factors that affect your metabolism: sleep, stress, exercise, alcohol and even excitement. It requires a hyper-vigilance that is exhausting, that we often get wrong and that is often accompanied by intense judgment and misunderstanding by both medical professionals and well-meaning friends.”

“Toward the end of 1920, a young surgeon named Frederick Banting, who had no previous experience in physiology or medical research, sold his practice against the advice of his girlfriend and moved to a tiny apartment in Toronto. After reading an article on pancreas secretions, Banting had an idea, and he approached an expert in carbohydrate metabolism at the University of Toronto, Dr. John Macleod. Motivated by some inexplicable confidence and the memory of watching his dear childhood friend, Jane, wither and die from diabetes, Banting badgered the thoroughly skeptical Dr. Macleod into temporarily loaning his lab space. Macleod provided Banting with keys to a sparsely equipped lab, 10 dogs and a medical student, Charles Best, then headed home to Scotland for the summer.”

“By the end of the summer, Banting and Best had managed to keep several diabetic dogs alive with injections of a substance they’d isolated — later named insulin. By January 1922, the first human received insulin. His name was Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old Toronto boy dying of diabetes. By May, he was discharged from the hospital having gained back his weight and appetite. News of his recovery spread like wildfire, as emaciated diabetic children were rescued from death by the thousands.”

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