Jackie Diffey is going to paddle her own canoe (well, not quite, but it sounded good) for diabetes research targeted by Animal Free Research.
On her Just Giving page, Jackie says:
In April 2019, I’m going to paddle a surf ski 20km on Bude Canal. My Mum had type 2 diabetes and complications that often go with it. I’m doing this in her memory on what would have been her 83rd birthday to raise much needed funds to support some exciting research taking place at the University of Exeter.
Professor Lorna Harries and Nicola Jeffery at University of Exeter Medical School have been looking at the mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes. After discovering evidence that a proportion of the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin aren’t dying but are changing into other types of cells, Lorna and Nicola wanted to find out the reasons why the cells alter their identity in this way. But they’ve gone above and beyond this and have discovered that this transformational process can be reversed, which could soon lead the way to treatments that will cure the condition.
Lorna and Nicola have developed a new scientific methodology using human pancreatic beta cell lines, which have been grown in the laboratory without the use of any animals. This is cutting-edge research at its best – their exciting discoveries would never have been made if they had carried out conventional experiments on mice as the mouse pancreas, and how the cells within it communicate, is configured different to ours.
AFR UK is driving ethical, evidence based research to fight, prevent and cure human diseases by investing in the most innovative research which focuses on humans without the use of animals, creating a future where animals are no longer used in medical research, where scientists focus on new techniques which are human relevant, giving better outcomes for everyone, people and animals alike. With your support, we can advance human health and end the use of animals in medical research, forever.
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition, and it is serious. As Jackie says, it can kill, as high glucose levels can affect major organs in the body, and the pancreas has to work overtime – until it can’t. The Animal Free Research Project is called The Sugar Mouse Appeal. This link contains a video which explains it all much better than I can. Diabetes UK tells us that:
It is estimated that 175 million people have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes in the UK. It is estimated that more than one in 17 people in the UK has diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed)2. DIAGNOSED There are 3.2 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK. They add:
More people than ever have diabetes. More people than ever are at risk of Type 2 diabetes. If nothing changes, more than five million people will have diabetes in the UK by 2025.
I checked my own diabetes risk here. Result: 1 in 10 people with your risk will get Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.
This was partly because of my age, but also that my mother had diabetes. However, while my BMI (body mass index) isn’t awful, I can bring it down (and should) so that’s something to work on. Even that would not put me in the low-risk category (thanks, Mum) but every bit helps. You can reduce your risk by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy weight. And the good news is that small changes can make a big difference. Well done to Jackie for doing what she can to help diabetes research. Please give her your support.