World Diabetes Day – Monday, November 14, 2022

By: Brianna MacLean

In 2021, it was reported that 1 in 10 adults worldwide, an estimated 547 million, were living with diabetes. This number is poised to only increase with time, with the International Diabetes Federation projecting a growth to 643 million adult diabetes diagnosis’ by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.

With the escalating number of cases comes the elevated levels of concern of what this could mean for our collective health. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 in direct response to these concerns; The day was later recognized by the United Nations in 2006, with the birth date of Sir Frederick Banting, one of the doctors who discovered insulin, being chosen as the official calendar day: November 14.

The goal of World Diabetes Day is to raise awareness of diabetes as a global health issue and the preventative and management actions that are being taken to improve the lives of those with the condition. This is reflected in the theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day, Access to Diabetes Education, with the primary goal to increase the amount of information and resources on all things diabetes at the world’s fingertips.

We might not see the end of diabetes in our lifetime, but through global education and advocacy incentives such as World Diabetes Day, we are laying down a solid foundation for the future; a future free from daily testing, strict regimes, and pricked fingers.

Diabetes and Doctors and Dogs, OH MY!

By: Brianna MacLean

Some of the greatest inventions in history have the strangest of origins:

The chainsaw was originally invented to assist in surgeries related to childbirth.

Daylight savings time was created based on the suggestion of a British entomologist who wanted an extra hour of daylight to hunt bugs.

And the very first insulin dose came directly from a dog’s organ.

That’s right; in 1921, Canadian surgeon Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best performed the first successful treatment for diabetes by extracting insulin from a canine’s pancreas!

Once purified, this sample was used to treat another dog called Marjorie, who was suffering from severe diabetes, ultimately extending her life for 70 more days! Less than a year later, 14-year-old Leonard Thompson became the first human to be treated with Banting & Best’s newly refined insulin formula; within 24 hours of the injection, Leonard’s life-threatening blood glucose levels dropped to a healthy number.

Unsurprisingly, news of this medical marvel traveled far and wide, eventually leading to Banting & Best receiving the Nobel Prize in Medicine and the mass manufacturing and distribution of insulin throughout North America. 

Thanks to B & B’s truly innovative minds and a generous bodily donation from a collie, insulin became the ultimate MVP in diabetes treatment, a title it holds today!