Ground-breaking documentary follows quest – and possible cure

Patient 13 is a documentary-in- progress seeking funds to continue filming. It’s also on a quest to find, and it’s possibly standing on the brink of, a cure for type 1 diabetes. 

Patient 13 is following two men: Dr. and medical researcher, Jonathan Lakey, who was part of the islet-transplant work more than a decade ago known as the Edmonton Protocol. Lakey is now part of a team of researchers and scientists developing and testing the ‘Islet Sheet’ (shown here in hand – transparent and the size of a business card) as a possible cure for type 1 diabetes.

Scott King is the man who will be patient 13 – the 13th subject in the clinical trial. King has had type 1 diabetes for 34 years and has been on his own quest for a cure as both a scientist and biotech entrepreneur.

The Edmonton Protocol in Canada, proved islet transplants could free patients of their need for insulin, but insulin-independence was short-lived, largely due to anti-rejection issues. Lakey believes the Islet Sheet will not encounter that problem; it is not expected to be recognized by the body as foreign and so not rejected.  

Filming began in 2010 and the film needs 30K in funding by December 2nd to continue. Producer, Lisa Hepner, who has had type 1 herself for more than 20 years says, this film will be the first in-depth look at diabetes and efforts to find a cure and that it will show the unfolding story about the search for, and possible discovery of, the cure for type 1 diabetes.  

If the funding goal is reached, Hepner hopes to release the $1-million, 90-minute documentary in 2013. 

If you’re interested to contribute to the film’s production – $1, $5, any amount is gladly welcomed as every dollar counts – there’s a KickStarter campaign. (Kickstarter is an online platform to raise money to seed creative projects.) To date, more than $19,000 has been raised for the film in pledges. However, that whole amount goes away if another $30K isn’t raised by December 2nd. 

Also you can read more back story in the Orange County Register.

At most the producers say this could just lead to a Nobel Prize and change the lives of millions of people who have type 1 diabetes. At the very least it’s another step forward toward a cure, and raising awareness and visibility of type 1 diabetes.

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