Federal help needed in fight against diabetes [Letter]

We were pleased to read the article "Sister of 11-year-old with diabetes raises $110K for research" (April 1), in The Sun because of our own family's experience with type 1 diabetes. Over 10 years ago, our grandson was diagnosed with the disease and has grown up so much faster than his brother or his sister who do not have it.

We have watched him under our daughter's supervision endure a daily regimen involving checking blood sugar and multiple insulin injections daily so he can live. Otherwise, he could experience a frightening seizure, go into a coma or even suffer from horrendous complications like blindness or kidney disease. This is a heavy burden that no child or parent should ever have to bear and we are desperate for a cure for type 1 diabetes.

To help, we recently joined others impacted by these disease in a meeting with U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski to thank her for supporting the Special Diabetes Program (SDP). The SDP is helping people with type 1 diabetes and advancing treatments and therapies including the artificial pancreas technology. Thanks to Senator Mikulski, the artificial pancreas is now in outpatient trials approved by the Food and Drug Administration and will help control blood sugar automatically and prevent costly complications. The SDP is also making progress on better understanding the disease so we can find a cure which could save our nation $245 billion, the annual cost of diabetes. A cure would also mean that our grandson would no longer fear complications and could grow up be just like those without this disease.

Thanks to the support of so many in the Maryland Congressional delegation, we are grateful that Congress renewed the SDP so that research can continue toward a cure, and one day we can all be free from type 1 diabetes.

Nancy and Charles "Bud" Wanner, Pasadena

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