Stent—Maribeth Stent—was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the fall of 1997. “It was right around my second birthday,” said Maribeth. She is now a senior coordinator of community engagement at JDRF, and she took part in a clinical trial of a hybrid closed loop artificial pancreas system at Yale University in Connecticut. It was an Insulet Omnipod insulin pump and the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM), which were FDA-approved, plus an algorithm provided by Insulet, which wasn’t FDA approved—yet.
“When I arrived the first day of the trial….we each had our pump sites and sensors set up and inserted,” says Maribeth. “Right away, I was in closed loop! Every few minutes, the system would use the CGM data and other factors such as meal boluses and activity to adjust insulin dosing. It was so neat to watch the system automatically make decisions that I normally would have had to make on my own.”
Some people think that being in a clinical trial is scary or unpleasant. But Maribeth feels differently. “The clinical team made me feel super comfortable and safe from the very first day in the enrollment visit. They kept me informed every step of the way, and reminded me that I could end the trial at any time.”
She added: “I would encourage everyone living with type 1 diabetes to explore clinical trials that they may be eligible for. Studies like the one I participated in make more options for the type 1 diabetes community available faster.”
Great idea! One way to search for clinical trials is to use the JDRF online, easy-to-use tool called the Clinical Trials Connection. It asks users simple questions—about where they live, the distance they can travel and other characteristics—to match them with trials for which they are eligible. Currently, there are more than 300 clinical trials for people at-risk of, living with or that have complications of T1D. Start the clinical trials matching process here.
Anything else you want to add, Maribeth? “When you’ve had T1D for so many years, it can feel frustrating how slowly new technology and therapies become available. I have a new perspective and an understanding of the process—these things take time!”
Yes, they do, but having people like you, Maribeth, who will take part in a clinical trial, make the process much quicker. You are my champion, and I hope that others will follow your lead.