There have been very few times in my life where I have found myself to be speechless. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times that I have been voluntarily quiet ranging in reasons from not wanting to sound uneducated on an issue to just not feeling much like speaking at the time. But this past Tuesday I got an email and a phone call that rendered me just absolutely speechless. I got an urgent email from Molly McElwee, R.N. (who I know from the inpatient trials that I did last month) saying that I needed to call her RIGHT AWAY about the outpatient cell phone trials. I think we can all probably guess by my reaction to having the opportunity to just hold the Artificial Pancreas on a cell phone platform that when I got this email I was beyond excited to hear any news, since the FDA very recently approved outpatient trials in the United States (you can read all about it at http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=117007). And then it happened. I was given a set of dates in May, asked if I could do it, AND I WAS IN! I have the once in a lifetime amazing, incredible and awesome (yes, all of those) opportunity to participate in the very first outpatient Artificial Pancreas Project clinical trials in the US!!! I honestly didn’t have words for the excitement and gratitude and hope that I was feeling. I got off the phone and I cried. I just cried, for probably a solid 5 minutes before I pulled myself together enough to call my fiancé, my mom, my dad and my sister. I can’t even sit here and type this without crying thinking about how incredible this is that the outpatient trials are already beginning! And how I am so, SO fortunate to be able to be a part of it.
About once every week I check the government website for clinical trials pertaining to the Artificial Pancreas, just to see what’s out there and what I’m eligible for to help out with the Artificial Pancreas Project in any way I can. Early last week I saw what I thought might have been this outpatient trial, and emailed Molly, asking if the trial was actually what I thought it was, and I was hoping to hear some good news about how much progress the trials are making but not in my wildest dreams did I expect to be given dates for the trials to happen just 3 weeks from now.
I’m scheduled to check-in at the hotel where this is all taking place on May 15th, just 2 days after I graduate with my BA in Psychology from American University. Having taken a non-traditional path through my schooling, and finally getting my degree 10 years after graduating from high school, I was already feeling pretty good about graduating. But this, the opportunity to once again be a part of something that is so much bigger than anything I’ve done before is by far the best graduation gift I could ever have hoped for.