Wednesday, May 11, 2011
A letter of Thanks - Diabetes Blog Week
This is a much more positive post than the last one. But it is another letter I have been meaning to write for a while. I might even send this one. :)
Dear Professors Ashcroft and Hattersley,
Thank you so much for your work and how it has impacted our lives.
Just over 12 months ago my nine month old daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. Without your research she would still be requiring insulin to keep her alive. Six months ago she transferred to oral treatment with a sulonylurea (glibenclamide or glyburide). Our lives, her life is better because of your individual work and your collaboration.
Professor Frances Ashcroft thank you for your work focusing on ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP)channels and how they work in insulin secretion. My daughter DNA mutation means hers don't work as they should.
Professor Andrew Hattersley thank you for leading the genetic team in Exter to identify activating mutations in the Kir6.2 gene causing a form of diabetes.
Even though she was older than the 6 months old usual cut off for Neonatal diabetes diagnosis she had been sick for at least six months. She had no beta-cell autoantibodies detected and had been a low birth weight baby (2.6kg). So she fit a few of the criteria for genetic testing. I am so thankful that we did the DNA test even though getting a blood sample drawn from a small baby is traumatic. The outcome for our family has been great.
I don't think it is very often that parents would be praying for a positive result for a DNA mutation but we are thankful.
She has a R201H mutation of the Kir6.2 or KCNJ11 gene. Her blood glucose levels on the oral treatment are good. And her HbA1C after 3 months on her new treatment was 5.5 down from 7.8 in September.
So, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Basically I can't thank you both and your teams enough.
Best wishes for your future research,
Melissa (a grateful mum)