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Personal Stories: Hope from NIDDK Clinical Research

People participate in clinical research for many reasons: to help others, to have the opportunity to try a new treatment or prevention strategy, to have the additional care provided by research staff, and to advance scientific progress. Many people also raise awareness of the value of clinical research and promote it in other ways. Clinical research is improving people’s lives today and offers hope for the future. Learn more about clinical trial basics, the importance of participating in clinical trials, and how to find a clinical trial.

View personal stories below, organized by condition:


Photo of Angelica.
Angelica: Contributing to Research on Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

“It was so rewarding knowing I was doing this to protect the health of my baby,” says Angelica, speaking about her participation in the GO MOMs study.

Read Angelica’s Story
Photo of Lauryn.
Lauryn: Advancing Research on Artificial Pancreas Devices for Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

“It was probably one of the best things that has happened…. It introduced me to an easier life,” says Lauryn, talking about how participating in a Bionic Pancreas clinical trial showed her a less burdensome approach to managing her type 1 diabetes.

Read Lauryn’s Story

Kathrine: Contributing to Research on Type 2 Diabetes in Youth

Reflecting upon her experience in the TODAY trial, Kathrine expresses extreme gratitude: “TODAY didn’t complete me. It complemented me. It gave me the tools to be a better me.”

Read Kathrine’s Story

Jenae and Katelyn's Family Photo
Jenae and Katelyn: Making Extraordinary Contributions to Type 1 Diabetes Prevention Research

Regarding participating in the TEDDY clinical study, Jenae’s advice to others is not to be afraid to take on things like this. "The work is worth it…. It’s empowering.”

Read Jenae and Katelyn’s Story

Photo of Pamela.
Pamela: Contributing to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Research

Talking about her experiences in the Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial, Pamela says: “This is one of the best things to ever happen to me, to have had this opportunity to be part of this program.”

Read Pamela’s Story

Photo of Elena.
Elena: Testing a New Artificial Pancreas System for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

While using an artificial pancreas system in a clinical trial, Elena says, “I definitely feel like my mental health improved…. I’m not having to babysit my blood sugar 24/7.”

Read Elena’s Story

Digestive Diseases

Ben's family photo
Ben: Advancing Treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in Children

Ben, a participant in the PROTECT study of ulcerative colitis treatment, recommends that others participate in research studies if they have the opportunity. "I feel that by participating, you are helping with research that could really benefit others in the future," he says.

Read Ben’s Story

Kidney Disease

Dave and Leroy: Providing HOPE for a Better Way To Manage Dialysis Pain

Dave, who serves as a Patient Advisor on the HOPE study team, speaks about how the HOPE study has prioritized including the patient perspective in all its activities: “The HOPE trial exceeded my expectations…. And my expectations were high.” When Leroy, a HOPE study participant, is asked if he would encourage other people to participate in clinical research studies like HOPE, he responds: “Oh, definitely. I would give [the study] an A plus.”

Dave and Leroy’s Stories
Photo of Harriet.
Harriet: Paving a Path to Personalized Kidney Care Through Participation in Research

“The exciting part was that the research is being done on the molecular level. So maybe they will be able to look into the mechanism that is behind what my problem is,” says Harriet of her participation in the NIDDK’s Kidney Precision Medicine Project, which facilitated her diagnosis of a rare kidney disease.

Read Harriet’s Story

Liver Disease

Photo of Jessi.
Jessi: Coordinating Research on New Treatment for Alagille Syndrome, a Rare Childhood Liver Disorder

Jessi’s motivation for being involved in clinical research studies is clear: “We’re really concerned about the lives of these children and ways to improve them—that’s such a gratifying mission to stand behind.”

Read Jessi’s Story

Photo of Emilia and her family.
Emilia: Contributing to Development of New Diagnostic and Treatment Options for Children with the Liver Disease Biliary Atresia

“One of the hopes that we have is that soon, hopefully, there is a medicine that can reverse or stop the cirrhosis of the liver,” says Marco, describing how studies such as those conducted by the Childhood Liver Disease Research Network (ChiLDReN) may be able to help his daughter Emilia.

Read Emilia’s Story

Urologic Diseases

Brittney and Holly: Helping People Hydrate To Prevent Kidney Stones

Brittney, a study coordinator working with kids and parents in the Prevention of Urinary Stones with Hydration (PUSH) clinical trial, says she constantly sought out ways “to prevent having any barriers or burdens … on the parents as much as possible.” Another PUSH study coordinator, Holly, says “Being a prevention study, we want it to be a positive experience for them.”

Read Brittney and Holly’s Stories

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This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.