Yesterday, I received an exciting piece of mail: it was a letter from the TRIGR research team who has been following my son’s blood glucose and antibody levels since birth, stating that his most recent blood work shows that he tests negative for the antibodies associated with Type 1 diabetes. Receiving this news always fills me with a great sense of relief.
I found out about TRIGR when I was in the last trimester of my pregnancy with George. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where I had gone for treatment after my diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes at age 10, is one of the TRIGR research centers, and a research associate from Children’s just happened to get in touch with my mother, who told her that I was pregnant.
According to the TRIGR Web site,
TRIGR is an international, randomized, double-blinded trial. The hypothesis to be tested is whether hydrolyzed infant formula compared to cow’s milk-based formula decreases the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in children with increased genetic susceptibility.
When I learned about the study, it was a no-brainer that I would be willing to participate; in my mind, any way that I could help to figure out the causality and a cure for Type 1 diabetes is a priority. Plus, as a TRIGR family, we received free formula (that I used to supplement breastfeeding) that was delivered to our door when my son was an infant. Quite nice during those hectic, sleepless days! What TRIGR has required from my son has been going for an annual blood draw — which has not always been a fun, easy experience. However, getting through that challenging event to both contribute to research and get important information about my son’s health has been ever worth it. And on my son’s last blood draw, the whole experience was a nonevent — he sat calmly on my husband’s lap while the lab technician did her job.
It will take some years for the international TRIGR team to complete their research and report its results, but you can learn more about what they are doing by following their news updates here.
It has been wonderful being a guest blogger for DiabetesSelfManagement.com this summer! I have appreciated all of the comments that readers have posted and hearing about your issues and challenges in diabetes care. I am so grateful for this online community and for the incredible, helpful wealth of resources that Diabetes Self-Management has available for us online. I learn something every time I come to this site!
Please don’t be a stranger — I welcome your ongoing thoughts and stories. I am in the process of setting up a new Web site for my forthcoming cookbook, The Kitchen Classroom, so you can reach me (in about two weeks!) at www.kitchenclassroom4kids.com. My new e-mail address will be Gabrielle@kitchenclassroom4kids.com. I will be blogging on my site about nutrition, cooking, parenting…and no doubt, diabetes will be in the mix!
Wishing you a healthy, joyful rest of your summer!