In nearly 20 years at Children’s, I have taken care of countless patients and worked on hundreds of research studies. Every patient and project has been special. But some kids stand out in a crowd.
Blake Ferguson is one of those patients.
He was diagnosed at Children’s with Type 1 diabetes in January 2011 at age 13. During his hospital stay, we approached his family about participating in the START trial, a diabetes research study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The trial’s goal is to preserve beta cells, which are responsible for making insulin for the body. This could help diabetics take fewer insulin shots.
Despite several challenges of the trial, including five days in the hospital, 12-hour infusions of the drug thymoglobulin and various uncomfortable side effects, the family still wanted to participate. Blake enrolled in the trial in April 2011 during his spring break so he wouldn’t miss any school. His mom, Tracy, decked out his room with spring training baseball decorations and palm trees.