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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. 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:

Diabetes

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

Lilly and her parents
Improved Diagnosis Leads to an Easier Treatment for Monogenic Diabetes

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.

Read Lilly's Story

Ed and his daughter
A Life with Type 1 Diabetes Turned Around by Islet Transplantation

To everyone involved with the islet transplantation procedures, Ed says, “You’ve given me a great, big gift. I can’t thank you enough. My family and co-workers can’t thank you enough.”

Read Ed's Story

Photo of Paul and Tim
Looking Out for One Another and Taking on Type 2 Diabetes

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.

Read Paul & Tim's Story

Bariatric Surgery Offers Hope as a Treatment for Some People with Type 2 Diabetes

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.

Read Karen's Story

Digestive Diseases

A picture of Sydney
Surgical Procedure for Chronic Pancreatitis Transforms Young Person’s World from Pain into Promise

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.

Read Sydney's Story

Photo of Nancy
Living Hour to Hour with Fecal Incontinence

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.”

Read Nancy's Story

Kidney Disease

A photograph of Robert Truckner
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

Photo of Jack and his daughter
An Unexpected Diagnosis Becomes a Call to Action

Jack was an enthusiastic volunteer in the HALT-PKD study. Even a 7-month deployment...could not prevent him from continuing to participate.

Read Jack'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

Photo of Tarrie
Putting an End to a History of Hepatitis C

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.”

Read Tarrie's Story

Urologic Diseases

A picture of Bob
A Trip to the Emergency Room Prompts One Man To Join a Clinical Trial for the Treatment of Kidney Stones

“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.

Read Bob's Story

Blood Diseases

A photo of Radhika and her daughter
Radhika: NIDDK Study Participant Celebrates Decades-long Partnership

“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.”

Read Radhika's Story

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

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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. 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.