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. Clinical research is improving people’s lives today and offers hope for the future. Learn more about clinical trial basics and how to find a clinical trial.
View personal stories below, organized by condition:
“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.”
“All that matters to me is that I’m making a difference,” says Jadah, of her participation in type 1 diabetes research.
“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.
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.”
Research takes time. It takes decades. Research builds on research that builds on research. This breakthrough [in Lilly’s treatment] seems sudden, but…it was decades in the making.
When his doctor told him he was at risk for type 2 diabetes, “the mistake I made was ignore them, ‘cause I felt good,” Paul says ruefully. When he later developed the disease, he told his twin brother, Tim, as soon as possible, to make sure Tim knew “risk for diabetes” was something he did have to worry about.
When Karen learned that she had been accepted as a participant in the NIDDK-funded Triabetes research study and would receive bariatric surgery, she was ecstatic. “That was the happiest day,” she laughs, “I can still remember that day!” The Triabetes clinical trial aims to understand the health benefits and risks of bariatric surgery in people who have mild or moderate obesity along with type 2 diabetes that has been particularly difficult to control by other means.
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.”
Sydney’s experience with pancreatitis and the TP-IAT surgical procedure has strengthened her interest in science and the medical profession. “Now that I’ve experienced what some kids have to go through...it just touched my heart and I was like ‘you know, I could really make a difference, I could really help,’” she says.
To be out in public and have access to a restroom is not always easy, says Nancy, but “as an incontinent person, you learn how to navigate through life in a different way.”
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.”
Jack was an enthusiastic volunteer in the HALT-PKD study. Even a 7-month deployment...could not prevent him from continuing to participate.
“If it helps other people,” Scott says of his participation in the STOP-ALF clinical trial, “I’m more than happy to participate.”
Tarrie was encouraged by breakthroughs in the understanding of the disease: “The more they learned about the virus, the better the medications they could get to help clear it.”
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.”
“If I can do something to help future people with kidney stones not go through what I went through, let’s do it,” he said. With that decision, Bob became a volunteer in the STONE clinical trial.
“I feel fortunate to have contributed to the body of knowledge around thalassemia since I was five years old,” she said. “My parents understood the challenges I faced and trusted NIH doctors to do their best to treat me.”
"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.
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.