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Insight from a BC Children’s diabetes patient turned researcher

Ben Mammon works as a clinical research coordinator at BC Children’s Hospital Diabetes Clinic where he helps research a condition that he has lived with for more than half his life.
 
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Ben Mammon, clinical research coordinator at BC Children's Hospital Diabetes Clinic

Ben was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 and came to BC Children’s Hospital every six months until he turned 18. Like many kids with diabetes, Ben quickly understood the important role BC Children’s had in maintaining his health. 

Today Ben recruits families for studies to investigate disease prevention, complications and management of type 1 diabetes at BC Children’s. In fact, as a patient Ben participated in research by giving extra blood for the same study for which he now recruits patients. His ultimate hope for his research is to advance knowledge in type 1 diabetes. He also wants families to be aware of advances in research so parents can continue to have hope for their children. “I want families to know how hard researchers at BC Children’s and around the world, are working to find ways to prevent, better treat and cure type 1 diabetes,” said Ben. 

Having been a patient at BC Children’s, Ben knows first-hand what families go through when their child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and challenges they face throughout treatment. Having this special perspective helps him communicate the importance of research to inspire families to participate. 

Ben says there’s real value for parents to speak to an adult who has gone through the same things their children go through. It’s reassurance that their child is going to be okay. Ben often tells children who are at the clinic to be nice to their endocrinologist because you never know…that “endo” might be their boss someday!

BC Children’s Diabetes Clinic provides diagnosis, treatment and education for children and families affected by diabetes. Health professionals offer support to infants, children and adolescents with type 1, type 2 and other forms of diabetes, as well as some children who are at high risk of developing diabetes, and their families. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, for information on research, resources and to find out how you can take action, visit the Canadian Diabetes Association website.  

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