I try to watch as few ads and Public Service Announcements as possible, and I admit I haven’t seen the new video from the International Diabetes Federation. But in a moment of curiosity, I happened to click to watch the new JDRF fundraising ad, and I have to hand it to them. That’s bloody clever. I love it. At the halfway point, I thought, well, that’s bleak, and what’s with the capitalization of each and every line? Luckily I had at least two seconds of patience to watch past the halfway point though, where the ad’s cleverness is revealed. Props, JDRF. Well done. (Granted, I didn’t pull out my pocketbook, but I am a grad student, and don’t have a pocketbook. Perhaps the people with pockets deep enough to hold pocketbooks did pull them out.)
Speaking of the future and its funding, I’ll take this moment to place my bet: I think we’re getting close on being able to prevent type 1 diabetes in at least a subset of a known high-risk population. Which is to say, I think that in ten years, we will be at the point where if a person is known early to be at risk for developing diabetes, we will be able to prevent the progression of the disease for at least, say, ten years. As a woman who eventually wants to have children and worries about the likelihood of passing down more than just my neurotic eating habits, that’s a big deal.
To bring us back to the JDRF for a moment, this prevention would fall under their vaccine arm, and some of the great work being done by Kevan Herold and others. Also, everyone should probably get regularly screened by TrialNet. That’s a personal decision for you, your children, your family members, but even now, knowing in advance gives us opportunities to slow the progression of type 1 diabetes. I would accept a technologically managed diabetes for the rest of my life if I could just be assured that my theoretical progeny were safe.
In the meantime, I will satisfy myself with the fact that, apparently, there is never a good time to have children in academia.