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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 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

Photo of Claire and her brother, mother, and father.
Claire: A Lifetime of Contributing to the Science of Type 1 Diabetes Prevention

Claire, a volunteer in the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet network, encourages others to participate in clinical research. “Even if it doesn’t end up benefitting them, it’ll benefit others, and will definitely contribute to science.”

Read Claire's Story

Valentina at her sweet 16 party with her family.
Valentina: Overcoming Pancreatitis and Diabetes, All with a Positive Attitude

When hearing about the possible total pancreatectomy-islet cell autotransplantation (TP-IAT) surgery for pancreatitis, Valentina didn’t have any reservations: “I immediately felt that this was something that I had to do ....”

Read Valentina’s Story

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!"

Read 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."

Read Mike’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."

Read Raeann and Shirley’s Story

Kidney Disease

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

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."

Read Charles' Story

Liver Disease

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

Photo of Jeff mountain biking in a race.
Jeff: The Endurance To Overcome Drug-induced Liver Injury

“It was an opportunity to have really good care and to be monitored on a regular basis,” Jeff says about joining the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network study. “I think that was the biggest thing, that they would be watching over me, trying to understand this better, and trying to help in the future.”

Read Jeff’s Story

Urologic Diseases

SHAREing Their Experiences with Bladder and Urinary Tract Health: Five Women Talk About Their Participation in the PLUS Research Consortium

The Prevention of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (PLUS) Research Consortium's goal is to establish the scientific basis for future studies that can promote bladder health. A foundational activity of PLUS was the 2017 Study of Habits, Attitudes, Realities and Experiences, or SHARE. Five participants discussed their experiences in their respective SHARE focus groups for this feature.

Read SHARE Participants’ Stories

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 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.