By David Welch, President/Senior Producer at M2 MultiMedia
One of my closest childhood friends suffered from Type I Diabetes. Like millions of other children and adults his daily life was frequently interrupted with finger pokes, sugar level tests, and insulin shots. Having grown up with a friend afflicted with Diabetes and knowing dozens of others, throughout my life, with the same disease, it was very rewarding to produce a film on the topic. Although Bobby and I have lost touch over the years I hope he would be proud of our latest video, Diabetes and Biotechnology: A Shared History…A Great Future. In three minutes the video tells the pertinent story of how recombinant DNA technology was used to produce human – or synthetic – insulin in large amounts and how it became the first biotechnology treatment approved by the FDA.
I am thankful to Dr. Richard A. Insel, Chief Scientific Officer of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, for his incredible insight and for discussing in detail the historic connection between insulin and biotechnology. I am equally thankful to Kerry Morgan, a vivacious 17-year high school senior, who provides viewers with a very personal look at living with Diabetes. Kerry served as a JDRF Children’s Congress Delegate this past summer and actually spoke to a United States Senate committee.
Today, 30 years later, there is still no cure for Type I Diabetes. Recently published figures put the number of those afflicted with Diabetes at 350 million. By 2030, according to Dr. Insel, that number will climb to 500 million. As these cases approach astronomical levels it is essential we continue to support biotechnology research and hopefully one day reach an end to this very dangerous disease.