Brian, 70, a retired international consultant for a custom packaging firm, knew something was wrong when he ‘lost’ the third period of the Olympic gold medal hockey game in 2010.
“I was watching the second period, and suddenly the game was over,” he recalls. “I guess I was unconscious for the entire third period, missed the whole 20 minutes!”
The diagnosis: type 2 diabetes. Brian knew it was a chronic condition, not something that could be cured, but he’s not one to take things lying down. So when his doctor called to tell him about a research project at Mount Sinai Hospital that was looking for test patients, he jumped on the opportunity.
“I wasn’t at all nervous — it wasn’t as though they were opening me up or anything,” he says, laughing. “I was in control, taking charge of my disease. It was a good feeling. And I’ve learned to read people over the years, and I saw right away that I could trust my team.”
Brian’s confidence and positive attitude led him to join the study. “In a way, it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he says, now participating in his third diabetes study at Mount Sinai. “It became a bit of a hobby. I’m the first in line to participate in new diabetes studies — I like being ‘Patient 1’.”
He is currently participating in the PREVAIL study, led by Dr. Ravi Retnakaran, a clinician-researcher at Mount Sinai’s Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes and an associate member of the LTRI. The study aims to slow the degeneration of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas that leads to diabetes, and to improve patient quality of life through a new approach to early treatment.
Brian sees the potential long-term benefits to participating in the studies. “If it works, it could help me — but more important, it could help others.”
The PREVAIL study is open for new participants recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. For more information, please contact Stella Kink, RN, Research Co-ordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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