David Panzirer, grandson of the late Leona Helmsley and trustee for the Helmsley Charitable trust, is on a mission. He has been ever since his 6-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a devastating and frightening diagnosis for many parents. He launched the Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Program in 2008, and a new initiative focuses on prevention.
Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes is not like Type 2, which is more prevalent. While genetics and environment play a role, lifestyle choices also contribute to insulin resistance that leads to Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics don't have insulin resistance; they have a faulty pancreas that ceases to produce insulin. Lifestyle doesn't play a role.
Prevention of this type of diabetes is therefore focused on technology. Blood-glucose monitoring and control and even a bionic pancreas are all technologies that show promise in treating Type 1 diabetes.
The Helmsley T1D program has granted nearly $300 million towards Type 1 Diabetes research and prevention, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Photo: News Medical