I have been part of the JDRF family since my diagnosis with type one diabetes (T1D) in 1979. During my time as a volunteer with JDRF, I have participated in innumerable fundraising events including One Walk and Ride, currently serve as a Board Member with the Greater New York City Chapter and have been a member of JDRF’s Speakers Bureau. As part of the work I do with Speakers Bureau, I have spoken about my experience living with T1D for over 43 years, the importance of advancing and funding diabetes technologies and research, and diabetes advocacy. Currently, I am serving as the Chapter’s Clinical Trials Education Volunteer and am excited to share with you information about how you can get involved in a clinical trial!
Along my T1D journey, I am most proud of helping advance T1D science and technology through my participation in eight clinical trials; five of the trials specific to Artificial Pancreas systems held at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. Participating in early closed loop system clinical trials (and I’m in a closed loop trial right now) not only gave me an appreciation of what was to come in my own diabetes care, but also gave me access to some of the leading researchers in the field. When I say access, I mean that I saw technology work, or in some cases not work, for me, and spent time with doctors and researchers who would explain those discoveries. During these trials, I felt like I was getting a superior level of care and it truly increased my understanding of how my body works. These experiences were so empowering and far surpassed my original expectations.
JDRF funds T1D clinical trials that are critical to bringing new devices and treatments to people with T1D. Currently, there are over 64 JDRF-funded clinical trials underway, to prevent, cure and treat this disease and its complications. Participating in a clinical trial is a great way to contribute and also learn. JDRF hopes that, ultimately, these trials will lead to cures for T1D one day. JDRF has an improved, easy-to-use tool called the Clinical Trials Connection, which 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 living with T1D and T1D-related complications underway. You can try it out here.
Finding a clinical trial can be a daunting task (oh believe me, I know) but by partnering with the Greater New York City Chapter through this role as CTEV, I am hoping to bring more information to everyone affected by T1D. I am available to help and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. My staff partner at the Chapter is Kelly Borzell and she can be reached at email@example.com.
Alecia is president and managing-partner of Kovacs-Wesner Design Group, licensor of George Kovacs Lighting since 2002. Her work can be found in homes, hotels and contract applications throughout the world. She is also the Host of the Healthy By Design Podcast.