World Diabetes Day with JDRF

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Today is World Diabetes Day, so we at Concorde are going to commemorate it with some information about JDRF and the fine work the foundation is doing for health care awareness and funding in the areas of curing, preventing and treating type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications.

What is type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone people need to get energy from food. It strikes both children and adults, and its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. Currently, there is nothing one can do to prevent the disease, and there is no cure.

T1D is a disease that you probably will find yourself working with should you choose a Concorde program such as Nursing, Medical Laboratory Technician or Pharmacy Technician. Even if you don’t choose one of those programs, adding health care awareness to different issues and topics is always good.

Approximately five million people suffer from T1D. This includes a threefold growth in instances of the disease among youth, increasing to nearly 600,000. There are an estimated 40,000 new diagnoses of T1D each year in the U.S. alone, and between 2001-09, there has been a 21 percent increase in the number of U.S. youth with the disease. U.S. health care cost to combat T1D each year is estimated at $14 billion.

What JDRF does to increase health care awareness

Living with T1D is a constant balancing act. People with T1D must regularly monitor their blood-sugar levels, inject or continually infuse insulin through a pump, and carefully regulate insulin doses with eating and activity 24 hours a day.

JDRF funds research to deliver new treatments and therapies that make day-to-day life with T1D easier, safer and healthier until complete prevention or a cure can be found. JDRF has 96 locations in the U.S. with international affiliates in Australia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Canada, Israel and United Kingdom. It has committed more than $2 billion in research funding since 1970. In 2015, JDRF awarded 121 new research grants, is funding 50 active clinical trials and is funding research in 18 countries worldwide.

An exciting new development

JDRF has contributed through funding for research and advocacy for the last decade for development of artificial pancreas systems. Earlier this fall, the Food and Drug Administration approved a commercial version of this life-saving technology, the Medtronic MiniMed 670G hybrid closed-loop system.

“This announcement is a historic achievement for JDRF,” JDRF chief executive officer Derek Rapp said in a press release Sept. 28. “After years of laying the ground work, this breakthrough is a testament to the reason JDRF exists – to help people with T1D lead better, safer, healthier lives while we continue on the path to cure and prevent the disease altogether. It marks a major accomplishment in one of our highest priority research areas.”

In the past decade, JDRF invested more than $116 million in diverse artificial pancreas research projects. The announcement of FDA approval of the Medtronic system was a major success that would not have been possible without JDRF’s support and work toward its ultimate health care awareness goal of cure … prevent … treat.

Concorde commends and supports organizations such as JDRF for raising health care awareness around the globe for such a common and devastating disease and its efforts in treating and preventing the effects of the disease until the ultimate goal of finding a cure is at hand. You can commemorate World Diabetes Day by pledging in 2017 to join in one of JDRF’s fund-raising walks or rides and aiding the organization in this noble cause.

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