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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:


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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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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 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.