Dr. Banting's Discovery
Can you believe that insulin, the most important treatment Type 1’s need to survive, was only discovered about 100 years ago? Before Sir Frederick Grant Banting’s discovery of the hormone Type 1’s use on a daily basis to live, patients were being fed fresh pancreas. But by the time the patient consumed it, the insulin in the organ had been destroyed, ruling this treatment useless.
Dr. Banting actually had no experience in medical research. And it’s not exactly known why he became so interested in finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. However, it is known that he had a childhood friend that died at the age of 14 from Diabetes.
Banting was a Canadian physician with experience in orthopedics. But with the help of John James Rickard Macleod at the University of Toronto, who was also enthused about this experimental research, Banting was provided a lab, materials, and an assistant by the name of Charles Best. And the duo got to work.
Banting and Best first tested insulin on a dog named Marjorie. She was the first being to be kept alive by insulin treatment. The first humans to be injected with insulin were Drs. Banting and Best themselves. They wanted to see if this treatment would be safe for humans (I can’t see anyone doing that today)! And after many instances of trial and error, they had what they thought, was a solid treatment for Type 1 Diabetes.
Once they saw the amazing recovery patients were experiencing thanks to their discovery, Banting sold his insulin patent for $1, refusing to add his name to it. He is famously quoted as saying, “Insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world.”
In 1923, Dr. Banting won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1923.
Nowadays, on Banting’s birthday, November 14th, Type 1’s and millions of supporters, celebrate World Diabetes Day and the discovery that has saved the lives of millions over an entire century.
Just learning about this brisk discovery in the 1920's makes me eager to learn what’s in store for the future of Type 1 Diabetes treatment and hopefully, a cure.
Quick Facts About Type 1 Diabetes
1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes
By 2050, 5 million people are expected to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes
An estimated 40,000 people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes each year
200,000 people under the age of 20 years old have Type 1 diabetes
Between 2011 and 2012, 17,900 children and adolescents under the age of 20 were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes
There was a 21% increase in people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes between 2001 and 2009 under the age of 20
By 2050, 600,000 people under the age of 20 are expected to have Type 1 diabetes
Among people under the age of 20, non-Hispanic whites had the highest rates of new diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes
There are $14 billion in Type 1 diabetes-associated healthcare expenditures and lost income each year
Less than a third of people with Type 1 diabetes consistently achieve target blood-glucose control levels
Preliminary data from T1International’s 2018 access and supply survey that says 1 of every 4 US respondents have rationed insulin due to cost
(Facts from Beyond Type 1)
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I’m not a medical professional so I would only be able to provide my point of view, experiences, and friendship!
Thank you for reading!
-The B of V