|Leonard Thompson - First Person With Diabetes to receive insulin .|
Photo courtesy of "Brought to life," Science Museum of London
Thompson, at a scant 65 pounds and near death, was drifting in and out of a diabetic coma in Toronto’s General Hospital.
His parents were beyond desperate and allowed their son to be injected with the experimental drug known as insulin. The first injection caused an allergic reaction, but two weeks later (and after James Collip developed a refining process,) on January 23rd, 1922, Leonard received another injection that and his life was saved.
Leonard lived until the age of 27, and passed away from complications of pneumonia and yes, diabetes most likely played a factor in his death.
no longer lived with a death sentence.
But people with diabetes still struggle.
We struggle with the cost of staying alive with diabetes.
We struggle with our insurance companies and the exorbitant prices we pay for our life saving elixir of life and the cost of our life saving diabetes technologies.
Many struggle because they lack insurance.
Many people with diabetes struggle with complications, the fear of complications, and the judgement and lack of compassion that having complications brings from others outside and inside the diabetes community.
However, no matter the struggles we face or live with, people with diabetes are incredibly grateful to Doctor Banting, Charles Best, George McCloud and James Collip - and to the boy who lived named Leonard Thompson - the first of our diabetes tribe to receive insulin and lived to tell the tale and inspire others.