U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Personal Stories: Hope from NIDDK Clinical Research

​People participate in clinical research for a variety of reasons. People with a disease or health condition participate to help others and advance scientific progress, to have the possibility of trying a new treatment or prevention strategy, and to have the additional care provided by research staff. Healthy volunteers participate to help family members and others and to move science forward. Many people 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. View personal stories below:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Diabetes Research

A photograph of 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.

Michelle’s and Paula’s Story (PDF, 548 KB)

A photograph of Earl and his wife

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.”

Earl’s Story (PDF, 486 KB)​

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.

A picture of Lilly and her parentsLilly's Story (PDF, 255 KB)​​
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.”

Ed's Story (PDF, 353 KB)
Photo of Paul and Tim

Looking Out for One Another and Taking on Type 2 Diabetes


When his d​octor 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.

Paul and Tim’s Story (PDF, 339 KB) ​​​​​​​​

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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.

Karen's Story (PDF, 130 KB) ​​​​​​​​​​

Digestive Disease Research

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.

Sydney's Story (PDF, 256 KB)​​​
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.”

Nancy’s Story (PDF, 269 KB)​​

​Kidney Disease Research

A photograph of Robert Truckner

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.”

Robert’s Story (PDF, 366 KB)

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.

Jack’s Stor​y (PDF, 301 KB)​​​​​

​​Liver Disease Research

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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.”

Scott’s Story (PDF, 248 KB)​

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.”

Tarrie’s Story (PDF, 272 KB)

Urologic Disease Research

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.

Bob's Story (PDF, 234 KB)​​​

​​Blood Disease Research

A photo of Radhika and her daughter

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.”

A photo of Radhika and her daughter.Radhika's Story (PDF, 221 KB)​​​​​​
Photo of 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.

Nicholas's Story