From Sydney, Australia:
I read an article recently about a cell replacement operation that was performed on Jackie Warren Demijohn. This operation used some new techniques. Do you have any recent information as to how Jackie is going nearly one year after her operation?
I am not familiar with nor have I been able to find the report you described so it would be inappropriate to comment on the outcome or on any special technics used. In general, though, the potential role of transplantation in the management of diabetes is changing. Whilst whole organ transplantation in cases that need renal as well as pancreatic transplantation has proved rather successful, attempts at islet cell transplantation in younger diabetics are still beset by the problems of availability of human tissue and the difficulties of immunosuppression, not to mention cost. In the next few years and until some kind of reliable external pancreas can be developed it seems likely that meticulous control will involve the use of a insulin pump in conjunction with some kind of non invasive or semi-invasive blood glucose sensor like the GlucoWatch.
January 2008 Update:
My body rejected the islet cell transplant in Feb of 2000. By May of 2000 I went onto a Minimed Pump. The islet cell transplant changed my life. I took back control over my own health and well-being. I currently am being treated for different diabetic complications at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN (my home away from home) and supplemented with a local doctors. I will turn 50 years old on January 28, 2008. Quite a milestone for we old-time diabetics. My husband are still residing on 80 acres in rural North/Central Michigan. Since the transplant, we designed and built a home on our property that includes the use of electricity. The first eight years we lived on the property was spent non-electric, by choice. We finally joined the 20th Century, while living in the 21st Century. I continue to take solo motorcycle trips, sometimes on my 1976 FLH and other times on my 2005 Roadking CHPS edition. I am doing the best I can with the hand that was dealt.
Jackie Warren Demijohn
Original posting 22 Aug 1999
Posted to Research: Cure
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