Posted: 10th June 2021
“Will I still be able to surf big waves?”
That was Anders’ first thought when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 29.
“I’d lost about 10 kilos in six weeks. My gut feeling was there was bound to be a simple explanation and I wasn’t that concerned, but my girlfriend encouraged me to go see a doctor.”
“I had other symptoms, in hindsight. My mouth was very dry, and I was drinking lots of water, but it didn’t occur to me to mention this to the doctor.”
Anders was the second person to be enrolled in SVI’s BANDIT clinical trial. The drug baricitinib is approved globally for rheumatoid arthritis patients, but SVI researchers have discovered that it may also stop the immune system from attacking insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (the cause of type 1 diabetes).
Friends and family had told Anders about the trial after hearing about it in the media. Anders said he immediately considered enrolling, for a few reasons.
“The more altruistic reason was that I could play a role in research that could potentially help people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in future. Having just been diagnosed, I understood how very tough it could be.”
“Secondly, I really hope this works and makes the rest of my life easier to manage. I realise there’s a chance that I may be one of those participants getting the placebo, but at the end of the day, I’m getting great care, and contributing to what I think is an important research project.”
Like his type 1 diabetes diagnosis, taking part in a clinical trial raised many questions.
“The endocrinologist who is leading the trial at the hospital was very reassuring. He walked me through the questions I had about the information and put it into more familiar terms for me.”
While Anders is hoping his participation in the trial may see his glucose levels stabilise, he is happy to report that he has indeed managed to find a way to keep enjoying surfing big waves. “That’s been a really positive revelation,” he notes.
Anders is now learning to ride the wave of his type 1 diabetes diagnosis, and he still holds hope that new treatments for people with the disease will be found.
“You just never know when a trial like BANDIT is going to lead to a huge breakthrough in science, so I would encourage everyone to take part in a clinical trial if they are given the chance.”
‘I’m getting great care, and contributing to what I think is an important research project.’
The BANDIT trial is open for people aged 10 - 30 who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the past 100 days.
For more information, or to register for the BANDIT trial, visit the website.