Celebrating 100 Years of Insulin



Photos courtesy of Dr. Daniel DeSalvo

One hundred years ago, groundbreaking research by a team of Canadian scientists led to the discovery of insulin, changing the course of history. The discovery of insulin revolutionized the treatment for diabetes and changed the prognosis of the disease from a virtual death sentence to a manageable condition. As Texas Children’s Hospital Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center celebrates the centennial of this landmark event and we look to the present-day and future of diabetes care – we invite you to join us!  

Throughout the year, we will be sharing a series of blogs, social media posts, virtual events and celebrations, in an effort to spread awareness and provide support for youth and families with diabetes.  Our goal at the Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center is to help you live a great life with diabetes, from diagnosis until you graduate from pediatrics and move on to adulthood. We recognize the many things you do to take care of your health – this year, we’ll be sharing stories and perspectives about a variety of topics that we hope help to inform and enhance your daily life with diabetes.   

It was my personal journey living with type 1 diabetes that ignited my interest in medicine and directed my career path to become a pediatric endocrinologist. I was 19-years-old and a sophomore in college at the time of my T1D diagnosis. If I could go back in time, here is what I would tell myself:

Dear Daniel,

You’ve got this! These next few months will be challenging as you learn to navigate uncharted territory. You will experience highs and lows with your blood sugars and emotions, but with the support of family, friends and your endocrinologist, you will prevail! Be curious and learn as much as you can, because you will be steering the ship as the person managing your diabetes. Be open to trying new things — diabetes technology, dietary changes, community groups and more...

I know it’s hard to imagine now, but you will become an expert in your diabetes management. Right now, you are a sophomore in college majoring in political science. A year from now, you will have an epiphany and realize that you want to become a doctor for children with diabetes — a pediatric endocrinologist. It will be a long academic journey, but you will accomplish that goal! You will be given the privilege of shepherding families on their diabetes journey. You will look into the eyes of countless children and young adults diagnosed with T1D (just like you have been) and tell them “You’ve got this!” Actually, on second thought, managing diabetes takes a village and you are not alone — you will tell them: “WE’VE got this, TOGETHER!”

Warm regards,

Daniel DeSalvo, MD

As our Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of insulin together, we encourage you to make a commitment to yourself and to the diabetes community – get involved to learn more, spread awareness, or support others with diabetes. Please join us as we celebrate, advocate, inspire and learn together!    

To learn more about Texas Children’s Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center, click here. You can also find us on Twitter at @TCH_DIAB&ENDO.