Keith Schwanz


This article was written on 14 Aug 2017, and is filed under Family.

T1D Markers

Miles, our youngest grandchild, begins school this week — full-day pre-K. A few days ago, his older siblings cheered energetically when I asked if they were ready for the school year to begin. They like school. I think Miles will too.

But Miles has not responded with a similar enthusiasm to getting blood draws. Since Oliver has type 1 diabetes, Stella and Miles were invited to participate in a TrialNet study of siblings. Researchers are looking at five markers that may indicate a predisposition toward T1D. With the initial test, Stella did not have any of the markers. Miles had one of the five. So Miles was enticed with a $50 Visa gift card to come in for a three-hour test (see photos). They wanted to eliminate the chance that the first test was a false-positive. It was not. Miles has the marker. They will watch closely for signs that Miles, too, is slipping toward T1D.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Last week I read a report about a medical breakthrough in England where an injection seemed to block the  body’s attack on its own t-cells. I’m not a scientist, but I suspect that this may be similar to anti-rejection drugs given to transplant recipients so their bodies don’t see the new organ as an invader to be vanquished. I read the recent report as a hopeful development in the effort to find a cure for T1D.

We need to support research efforts like that. Once again this year, Team Jolly Ollie will walk in the JDRF fundraiser. Please join us. Click on this link ( and make a contribution. I don’t offer a $50 gift card, but the rewards of successful research are myriad. Oliver has benefited greatly from medical advances. Maybe his little brother, Miles, will too

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