Type 1 Ultra

endurance sports in the weird and wonderful world of type 1 diabetes

Would you want a cure?

If you were living with a medical condition that you had accepted as part of who you are now, that you even could embrace as you would a friend or a pet or even a troublesome family member – what would you really want to do on finding out there might be the first thread of a real possibility for a cure?

It seems a simple question. Surely, if you could have a cure, you’d want to. Wouldn’t you?

But that act of hoping for a cure – wanting your condition erased… isn’t that like admitting you haven’t really got comfortable with it? That you maybe haven’t accepted or embraced or adapted at all?

I don’t know the answer. I do know that when we ran the 4 Deserts Grand Slam with Team Born To Run it made me wince just a little sometimes when people talked about the search for a cure, or the race for a cure, or funding for a cure.


Because that isn’t what I was chasing. I was running to see if we could get through it as a team and if I could do it as both a runner and a T1, to see if I could manage 250km self-supported over a finite time period in remote, harsh wildernesses. And by doing that, I wanted to be able to bring a message back for everyone else living with type 1 – that we don’t need to exhaust all hope looking for a cure, when the cure is right in front of us, and that that cure is better management, using the tools we’ve already got – pumps, needles, meters, support networks, and our bodies.

Two problems.

1 – everybody is already managing with the tools they’ve got, handling challenges way tougher than running a seriously fun ultra marathon. Pregnant type 1s and/or pregnant type 1s making baby #2 while managing baby #1.. whoah, hats off. That’s hardcore. You are on the front lines. Anybody out there discouraging the type 1 in their life (or clinic) from taking some big risks – please change your approach, get out of the way and try cheering for them as they make mistakes trying new things instead.

2 – yes a cure might actually be an awesome thing to experience. And wanting that doesn’t mean you’re conflicted. Maybe it’s all about the way it’s presented. A number of organisations are built on the quest for a cure, but now it seems like one might be built on the kernel of a cure. That’s got to be a lot of pressure!

The interesting approach here is that instead of trying to implant or activate stem cells or fix things that are broken, the research thus far at Faustman Lab seems to indicate that fixing the thing that is doing the damage – our autoimmune response – rather than the thing being damaged (our pancreas, pay attention people) – seems a very hopeful path to tread.

For now, I’m just going to share these 3 links from my Ironman Superfriend in Noo Yawk, Jen Davino.

Their home page: http://faustmanlab.org

An early article: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/24/health/24diabetes.html?_r=4

A recent update on trials progress: http://cureresearch4type1diabetes.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/dr-faustman-starts-phase-ii-trial-for.html?m=1

Filed under: exercise and type 1, Type 1 diabetes, , , ,

3 Responses

  1. Ana says:

    Hi I follow Dr Faustman is research and have great interest in her research.. check follow article.. its about importance of methodology, Dr faustman’s phase II and FDA restricted methodology.

    Its really interesting..

  2. Ana says:

    Hi I follow Dr Faustman is research and have great interest in her research.. check follow article.. its about importance of methodology, Dr faustman’s phase II and FDA restricted methodology.


    its really interesting..

    • Roger Hanney says:

      Yep, sounds really promising. Shame the human trials timeline is soooo long 🙂 Bionic pancreas might be ready first. Thanks for the link Ana! Will share on type1ultra Facebook.

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