Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I am Dr. Brett Hart, head of pediatric studies in juvenile diabetes at Harvard University. Juvenile diabetes continues to be diagnosed at an alarming rate in the United States everyday, and it affects thousands of children and their families who have to learn to deal with the ramifications of this dread disease. I am here today to ask for your monetary support of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. This disease presents a host of problems for doctors, nurses, caregivers, and patients. Although we are making advances in uncovering a cure for juvenile diabetes, we still need your help to make that dream a reality.
I began my journey with uncovering a cure for juvenile diabetes at the age of seven when I was diagnosed with this disease. That was forty years ago, and I struggle everyday to keep my blood glcose levels under control and live my life to its fullest potential. When I was diagnosed, the prognosis was not as promising as what it is today. Through research, we have made advancements in insulin delivery methods, insulin pump therapy, real time blood glucose monitoring, islet cell transplants, and diet and nutrition. Much still remains to be accomplished. It is only through your monetary contributions that research can continue to eventually lead to a cure. The obliteration of juvenile diabetes is my life’s goal not only because I have juvenile diabetes, but also because someone’s child, brother, sister, mother, father, etc. was just diagnosed, and now they will have to deal with the ramifications from this disease. Everyone sitting here today has had some connection to someone with juvenile diabetes. It is for that reason that I stand in front of you today imploring you to make your $10,000 grant to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. I know that you will hear other speakers today advocating for other worthwhile charities, but the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation needs your grant in order to make a cure a reality.
We are on the verge of an exciting new discovery utilizing 3D printers to print a functioning pancreas. Speakers from the other charities who are here today may say that this sounds like science fiction and will never work, but quite the contrary is true. The initial human trials have shown phenomenal results and are showing a success rate of 62%. We desperately need your help to increase this statistic to at 94% thereby virtually obliterating juvenile diabetes. Each 3D printer costs approximately $5,000, so with your grant of $10,000 we could purchase two printers and increase the number of functioning pancreases we are printing. I know that you are probably thinking-what, printing a pancreas! How is that possible? Let me assure you it is very possible, but it is also very time consuming. Printing a pancreas precludes having to use a donor organ, so it is essential to our pursuit of making this disease virtually nonexistant.
Ten years ago, I diagnosed seven year old Lucas White with juvenile diabetes. I promised him a cure by the time he graduated from high school. Guess when he graduates? This year. Guess what I need so that he will not think I am a liar? A cure for juvenile diabetes is what I need to be able to show to Lucas. With your grant, I can get closer to being able to say to Lucas, “Hey, we found a cure today.” I want that because I see it as the singular best thing we can do for mankind. We are on the cusp of new era in pediatric medicine, and your grant can help achieve this.