A Canadian physician named Fredrick Banting had the idea to use insulin to treat diabetes after he and a Canadian medical student named Charles Best discovered the hormone, insulin. In January 1922 the first person, Leonard Thompson, was treated with insulin. He was only 14 years old and close to death when he was successfully treated. This success led to insulin to be mass produced by a pharmaceutical company, Eli-Lily, by May 1922. Eli-Lily made insulin from cattle and pigs which saved countless lives. There were problems with this insulin such as allergic reactions, and it took a great many pigs and cattle to make just a few ounces of insulin. These problems needed to be solved, and they were solved with genetic engineering.
Producing a near identical human insulin is only possible with genetic engineering. Yes, this is the same genetic engineering technology that is used to produce GMO crops like corn. Without genetic engineering, diabetic children and adults would still be dependent on inferior pig and cattle insulin. Genetic engineering is changing an organisms genome. Human insulin is made by taking a small piece of human DNA and inserting it into a bacterium or yeast cell. The bacterium or yeast cell now has the code to make insulin to save the lives of children and adults with diabetes. Genentech and Eli Lilly made Humulin, the first human insulin, in a pharmaceutical lab through genetic engineering in 1982. It's still made this way in 2017.
A lot of advancements have been made in treating diabetes since 1982, but there is still no cure. Diabetic children and adults still die from diabetes, and they still suffer from complications due to diabetes such as blindness or limb loss. Scientists are researching for a cure to this horrible disease. A cure can't be found soon enough, but I have hope that it can be found in my lifetime. A cure will only be found through scientific research, and I want to help scientists find the cure by donating money to fund this vital research.