Thursday, 9 December 2010

A great thing happened on October 31st!!

A great thing happened on October 31st, and no, not that i was born, although obviously that was a great thing, but that happened in 1974.
On October 31st 1920 there was a discovery by a great man. This discovery enables me to still have my husband, and my son.
It enables thousands of people to carry on living.
This discovery was insulin!

Below is an article taken from CTV news website.

Sunday marks 90 years since Banting's idea for insulin

Dr. Frederick Banting (left) and Dr. Charles Best discovered insulin in the 1920s.
Dr. Frederick Banting (left) and Dr. Charles Best discovered insulin in the 1920s.
Dr. Frederick Banting (left) and Dr. Charles Best discovered insulin in the 1920s.

Sir Frederick Banting awoke early on the morning of Oct. 31, 1920 with an idea that some call the most important medical discovery of the 20th century -- insulin.
His discovery would eventually lift a death sentence for millions of people around the globe who suffered from diabetes.
A three-metre-high sculpture by local artist Daniel Castillo is to be unveiled Sunday at Banting's London, Ont., home to mark the milestone's 90th anniversary.
Before Banting's "light bulb moment," the life expectancy for a diabetic was six months to two years. The only treatment offered was a starvation diet.
That changed when Banting came up with his idea by literally sleeping on it, said Grant M. Maltman, curator of Banting House National Historic Site of Canada.
The doctor had prepared a lecture on diabetes that he was to give on Nov. 1. He perused an article about the pancreas while trying to read himself to sleep the night of Oct. 30.
"So he reads the article, turns out the light and then goes to bed," said Maltman.
"And basically at 2 a.m., in his own words, he said 'it was a night of restless sleep. The lecture I prepared and the article I read had chased each other in my mind. At 2 a.m. they came together. I got up. I wrote it down and couldn't stop thinking about it for the rest of the night."'
He jotted down words in a notebook that suggested a connection between the hormone produced by the pancreas and the body's ability to process sugar.
Banting teamed up with Prof. John James Rickard Macleod, Charles Best and Dr. James Bertram Collip at the University of Toronto. Early experiments were on dogs in 1921. The first successful insulin test on a human came in 1922.
Soon after, people began writing letters to Banting and the university asking for insulin supplies, said Maltman.
One letter was from a Quebec man who was told there wasn't enough of a supply to give him but that he could go stay at Toronto General Hospital and receive insulin there. The man did and lived, he said.
Another family gave their teenager a one-way train ticket to Toronto in 1923 so he could get insulin at the hospital.
The same year, at age 32, Banting became the first Canadian -- and youngest person -- to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
People from 58 countries visited Banting's home in the last year. Some stood in Banting's bedroom and left thank you notes, said Maltman.
"They're writing things like 'Dear Dr. Banting: thank you for giving me an opportunity to live a fulfilling life with my family,' or Dear Dr. Banting: this site is the greatest moment for all children with Type 1. My daughter diagnosed last week at age two deserves to live. Thank you for your gift,"' said Maltman.
Ninety years later, Banting would be disappointed a cure for diabetes hasn't been found, said Maltman.
"We have better insulin today. What we don't have is anything better than insulin and that's why Banting is still regarded around the world as this global hero," he said.
Worldwide, an estimated 285 million people have diabetes.
The incidence of diabetes is on the rise in Canada, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association.
About three million Canadians have diabetes and about six million are prediabetic, said association president and CEO Michael Cloutier.
Untreated, diabetes can lead to complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation of limbs.
Good nutrition, weight loss of five to 10 per cent and increased physical activity can delay or prevent diabetes in some people, he said.
Symptoms include extreme thirst, sudden weight change, fatigue, blurred vision and a slow healing process.

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