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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 Angela.
Angela: RISE-ing Above Diabetes

Angela agreed to participate in a clinical trial, she says, "for my years of life and my children's, and the generations to come!"

Angela's Story

Photo of Mike.
Mike: Participating in a Long-term Type 1 Diabetes Research Study To Stay Healthy While Helping Others

When asked what it means to him to be part of a study that has changed so many lives for the better, Mike replies: "I feel good about it…. I want to continue because if there is anything more that can be learned or gained, I want to be able to be a part of that, whether that be as a collective group or individually."

Mike’s Story

A photograph of Kinyatta.
Kinyatta: Dedicated to the Search for Better Health for People with Diabetes

“I love the connections that I’ve made with the people that work for SEARCH,” Kinyatta says of the research study staff. “It’s just been a good experience.”

Read Kinyatta’s Story

A photograph of Jadah.
Jadah: Paving the Path to Preventing Type 1 Diabetes

“All that matters to me is that I’m making a difference,” says Jadah, of her participation in type 1 diabetes research.

Read Jadah’s Story

A photograph of Michelle and Paula
Michelle and Paula: Sisters Participate in Life-changing Clinical Trials—Testing Artificial Pancreas Technology for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

“The researchers are fantastic. They are striving to make our lives better…. I cannot sing their praises enough,” emphasizes Michelle. “They are a great bunch of people,” states Paula.

Read Michelle and Paula's Story

A photograph of Earl and his wife
Earl: A Life in Public Health and Service to the Community Continues with Participation in the GRADE Study for Type 2 Diabetes

When asked what is the strongest personal impression he’d use to encourage people to volunteer for the GRADE Study, Earl puts it simply and succinctly: “Feeling better, I think is what I’d focus on - on feeling better.”

Read Earl's Story

Digestive Diseases

Photo of Raeann and Shirley.
Raeann and Shirley: Giving Back to Other Families Affected by Celiac Disease

In describing why she and mother Shirley reach out to share their experiences managing her celiac disease, Raeann says, "People get so scared about it…so it's good to talk to people."

Raeann and Shirley’s Story

A photograph of Ronetta and her family.
Ronetta: Finding Strength Within the Turmoil of Gastroparesis

Ronetta’s motivation for joining the Gastroparesis Registry was altruistic: “Anything I can do to help someone else,” she says. “It helps bring meaning to all of this.”

Read Ronetta’s Story

Kidney Disease

Photo of Charles
Charles: Participation in a Pragmatic Clinical Trial To Bring Hope to People Coping with Multiple Chronic Diseases

Charles remains positive about his circumstances, noting that he didn't choose to have these conditions. "And I can only adapt to it," he says, "and keep going with my life, and don't give up."

Charles' Story

A photograph of Robert
Robert: Paying It Forward—A Physician-scientist with Type 1 Diabetes Participates in a Clinical Trial To Prevent Kidney Disease

Robert knows that clinical trials aimed at addressing important health issues, such as preventing kidney disease, require commitment on many levels, by many groups of interested people. Robert expresses great appreciation to all those involved. “I want to say thank you … thank you to the scientists. I want to say thank you to the Congress. I want to say thank you to NIDDK, and the other study participants,” he reflects. “Thank you for caring.”

Read Robert's Story

Liver Disease

Scott: One Man’s Experience Surviving Acute Liver Failure

“If it helps other people,” Scott says of his participation in the STOP-ALF clinical trial, “I’m more than happy to participate.”

Read Scott's Story

Urologic Diseases

Olivier: Participating in Clinical Research to Help Others with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Down the Road

Asked whether other men who are experiencing urinary tract symptoms similar to his should consider enrolling in a study like LURN, Olivier says “I would encourage them to do so. That way, there would be more information [collected to help improve] counseling in how to manage this.”

Read Olivier’s Story

Blood Diseases

Photo of Nicholas
Nicholas: Sickle Cell Disease

"Participating in the studies, I think it helps the doctors figure out more about the disease and, you know, come out with more medicine and just help out everybody who has it," says Nicholas.

Read Nicholas's Story


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. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.