Critical Objectives for Achieving a Practical Cure
As we discussed yesterday, setting incremental goals is one of the first, most important steps when it comes to setting a concrete plan for achieving an objective, such as finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.
We have been learning to set goals since an early age at school – but plans sometimes get sidetracked, problems come up, or we realize that we do not have the right tools necessary to get where we want to be at a given time. As pretty much all researchers will tell you, finding a cure for any disease is no easy task – let alone a chronic one like type 1 diabetes that scientists have been working on for almost a century.
No matter how hard it gets, however, what provides us with some sense of clarity and direction is establishing definitions that make goals more concrete. We need to clarify the endpoint everyone is working towards – we need to knowexactly what most people will accept as a “cure” for diabetes.
(As a reminder, you can read JDCA’s definition of a Practical Cure here.)
Another very important step is setting a cure-by date. No, we cannot guarantee if or when we will see a cure for type 1, but if we all work together and demand change in terms of how donations are spent, we can greatly increase the chances that we will see one within our lifetime, or before 2025. What is more, setting a target date helps to chart research objectives and set benchmarks to track progress. When we look at how far we have come in the next 3 years, or five years, and measure how much more we still have to go, we will have a better understanding of what is working and what is not.
We need to reverse the trend of shrinking funding for type 1 cure research. This means that we need to focus on projects that are most likely to achieve a cure. The non-profit foundations have the best chance to helping us find a cure, as they have the money and the resources to do so, but we must urge that the donor money be spent responsively and go to projects that really do have the potential to produce the desired results.