January 2022: 100 years of insulin

11th January 1922 – 11th January 2022

100 years to the day that the very first dose of insulin was administered at Toronto General Hospital to a 14 year old boy called Leonard Thompson, who was on the brink of what would have been a fatal diabetic coma.

That moment was revolutionary and from then on, life was never the same again for millions of people across the world.

Having discovered an effective treatment for diabetes, Frederick Banting, Charles Best and Dr James Collip were awarded the American patents for insulin in 1923, which they then sold to the University of Toronto for just $1 each. This life-saving treatment they gave away with no desire to sell it on for a profit, understanding how important their discovery was to all who live with diabetes and that it would no longer be the death sentence it always had been. Unbelievably today thousands worldwide, in both developed and developing countries, are unable to afford even a fraction of the insulin they need to not only keep them healthy, but keep them alive. 

I’m forever grateful for this discovery and the generosity of those who developed it as without it I wouldn’t be here today, nearly 36 years since my T1D diagnosis.

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