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I know that four years is a long time to ask for help

I always approach this time of year with great trepidation.  Arden’s JDRF walk is on October 25th and I am about to reach out to all of you and ask for money.  As the years go on I would understand if some of you started to think that your money was being wasted if for no other reason then Arden still has diabetes and no cure has been announced.  What I would ask you to keep in mind is that the path to the cure is full of the flowers of progress and we should take time to stop and smell those roses on our journey.  By that I mean that there have been numerous advancements realized through the JDRF, these advancements have a direct impact on Arden’s health and happiness as well as the millions of other kids with type I.  I will be listing them one at a time for you to read here on the blog so that you can get a more complete picture of where your donation goes.  You can make a donation to Arden’s walk here and become a walker here.  Please read on if you’d like to learn about the JDRF’s work with continuos glucose monitors and how they improve health and lengthen life.

ABC News Lists Human Clinical Trial of Continuous Glucose Monitors Among Years Most Important Advancements

From NY, January 8, 2009 -- The groundbreaking human clinical trial funded by JDRF that showed that continuous glucose monitors can improve diabetes control was cited by the ABC television network as one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2008. polled top medical centers and physicians in putting together its list of the past year's most important scientific advances.  The 10 developments chosen, which ranged from JDRF's CGM trials to advances in Alzheimer's research and an early blood test for Down syndrome, were considered the most important scientific breakthroughs by medical practitioners and the most interesting by readers.

The JDRF CGM trial was the first major, multi-center trial to document the benefits of CGM devices in helping people with type 1 diabetes better control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of devastating complications.  CGM devices, manufactured by several companies and approved by the FDA as an adjunctive therapeutic for diabetes, are a small monitor connected to a sensor that people with diabetes wear, that provide both a real-time snapshot of the glucose levels of a person with diabetes, as well as trend information on whether glucose is moving upwards or downwards, and how fast.  The devices also provide warnings when the glucose is becoming too high or too low - both dangerous conditions.

"The recognition the CGM trial is receiving will come as no surprise to people involved with diabetes research," said Dr. Alan Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. "These study results promise to be a cornerstone of our research into metabolic control and the development of an artificial pancreas, as it shows that these technologies can provide significant improvements in the lives of people with diabetes."

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and kills off the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.  Without insulin, sugar from food cannot be turned into energy, accumulates in the blood stream, and can cause death.  After diagnosis, people with type 1 diabetes need to check blood sugar levels multiple times every day and give themselves multiple injections of insulin, or use a pump to infuse insulin - each day, every day, for the rest of their lives.  While insulin can help control diabetes, it does not represent a cure; and even with insulin treatment, people with diabetes have significantly increased risks for devastating complications, including kidney disease, blindness, nerve disease, and heart disease.  However, research has demonstrated that improved control reduces the risk of complications.

As many as 3 million people in the U.S. have type 1 diabetes, with children representing half of those diagnosed each year.

The JDRF study was a randomized, controlled trial involving 322 patients spanning the age range of 8 to 72 years at 10 sites, which included academic, community, and managed care-based practices at the Atlanta Diabetes Associates, the Joslin Diabetes Center, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University, the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado Denver, the University of Iowa, the University of Washington, and Yale University, and coordinated by the Jaeb Center for Health Research in Tampa, Florida.

"The CGM clinical trial results are very important, because they show that continuous glucose monitors are tools that can substantially improve diabetes control when used regularly.  And better control can lead to a lowered risk of complications, fewer hospital visits, and importantly improved quality of life" said Dr. Aaron Kowalski, Program Director for Metabolic Control at JDRF.

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