Insulin producing islet cells

Patient Stories

They are different ages, reside in different zip codes, and have lived for a varying number of years with type 1 diabetes. They are the DRI's islet transplant recipients whose lives have been dramatically changed after receiving this life-saving procedure. Many have been living without the need for insulin therapy for years, or even a decade or more. DRI scientists are improving the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes through continued research. And additional DRI clinical trials will continue to benefit many more patients while advancing progress toward to our ultimate goal of a biological cure.
View their stories: 

DRI islet transplant patient Karla Edge 10 year follow upKarla Edge, diagnosed at age 6
"It feels like a whole new way of life. It feels fantastic! It gives me chills just thinking about it - how my life was before compared to how, it's like freedom...there's no longer that worry for my or my family...I hope that by the research they're doing at the DRI, that it enables other people to live the life I'm living now."


DRI islet transplant patient Chris Schuh 10 year follow up Chris Schuh, diagnosed at age 30
"The fact that it has worked so long is an incredible delight. To not worry about testing every time you walk out the door or having to test 10 times a day...I watched my only daughter get married, my husband and I are both retired and enjoying life...I'm happy to be alive! The cure is coming. It will happen in your not dismay"



DRI islet transplant patient Jill Eastman 10 year follow upJill Eastman, diagnosed at 18 months
"I'm living the life that I always saw everyone else living. Everyone else that wasn't testing their blood sugars, that wasn't wearing an insulin pump attached to them every day. And it's miraculous...I mean's hard to put into words...You guys learned things from every patient before me. I'm standing on their shoulders...They're [Patients to come] going to be standing on my shoulders."

DRI islet transplant recipient Victoria BalistreriVictoria Balistreri, diagnosed at age 8

"I've gone through everything with the pump, the syringe, I've pretty much seen it all in my lifetime...I don't take any shots, I don't have any pump...So I cannot tell you how amazing that is." 



DRI islet transplant patient Randi Fibus Caster speaks at Empire BallRandi Fibus Caster, diagnosed at age 5
"Since the day of my transplant, my diabetes has stabilized. No insulin reactions, no blackouts, no numerous calls to paramedics, no EMT breaking down the doors, and no extended hospital stays...Pretty remarkable I'd say!"


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