Dr. Francine Kaufman, Medtronic Diabetes

Frank Buckley appears alongside Dr. Francine Kaufman.

Frank Buckley appears alongside Dr. Francine Kaufman.

Dr. Francine Kaufman is the chief medical officer for the Diabetes Group at Medtronic. On September 28th, the medical technology company announced a major breakthrough in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Medtronic “received U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) approval of its MiniMed 670G system–the first Hybrid Closed Loop insulin delivery system approved anywhere in the world,” according to the Medtronic press release.

The development of what some are calling the first artificial pancreas is being celebrated by people who have type 1 diabetes as well as the parents of children who live with it. Among those parents? Me. My 19-year-old son Ben was diagnosed with T1D just after he turned 12.

It was a devastating diagnosis that meant the end of his carefree childhood. Ben would have to constantly monitor his blood sugars and inject insulin with a syringe or a pump before every meal for the rest of his life. It means painful and dangerous blood sugar lows from time to time, and worries about long-term health effects from high blood sugars. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes.

Frank Buckley appears with his son Ben and wife Elena at the Carousel of Hope gala benefiting the Children's Diabetes Foundation.

Frank Buckley appears with his son Ben and wife Elena at the Carousel of Hope gala benefiting the Children’s Diabetes Foundation.

So the approval of an artificial pancreas system is personal, as is my conversation in this podcast with Dr. Francine Kaufman. Because not only is Dr. Kaufman the chief medical officer for Medtronic, she is also my son’s doctor. She’s always been there for us day or night. And now she’s worked to create a technology that may make my son’s life and the lives of all T1Ds even better. In this podcast, you’ll hear what people living with type 1 can expect in the months and years ahead.

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