Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels and guest Laurie Jaffe discuss the following:
- What is monogenic diabetes? How does it differ from type 1?
- How is it tested and should anyone with diabetes be tested? What is the process?
- Why do you think there is such a large amount of people that are unaware?
- What are the obstacles those with type 1 might face? And what are the Solutions?
- What is your message in producing and releasing the documentary Journey to a Miracle: Freedom of Insulin
Laurie Jaffe and her husband Mike are the driving force behind a new documentary Journey to a Miracle: Freedom of Insulin. They were inspired to produce the film after their daughter Lilly, who was diagnosed with diabetes at one month old, was able to disconnect her insulin pump for good at age 6 after doctors discovered that she did not actually have type-1 diabetes.
In 2006, Mike attended a JDRF meeting where Dr. Louis Philipson of the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center spoke of an upcoming study in the New England Journal of Medicine involving children diagnosed with diabetes as babies. Dr. Philipson explained that most of the children did not actually have type 1 diabetes, but rather a newly understood genetic form called monogenic that is best treated with oral medication, not insulin shots. The rest is history. The Jaffes made a forever friend in Dr. Philipson who became Lilly’s doctor and helped her transition from insulin to oral medication at the University of Chicago.
Moved by their family’s miracle and the potential of reaching thousands more, the Jaffes felt passionate about helping to raise global awareness of monogenic diabetes. They initiated monogenicdiabetes.org, an authoritative website now administered by the Kovler Diabetes Center. Laurie also began and moderated an on-line discussion/support group for parents whose children were also able to switch their treatment from insulin shots to oral medication. The close-knit group grew as parents contacted Laurie after hearing about their family’s story. The group eventually met in person in 2010 and 2013 at “Celebrating the Miracles” conferences hosted by the Kovler Diabetes Center to bring scientists and families together. Laurie is a founding Leadership Board member of the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center.