Jared Deines has a bright smile that exudes boyish charm. He also has the natural poise of the athlete he is. He plays baseball, football, basketball, and his favorite, golf. But on a sunny day in mid- July, Jared is not home in Iowa practicing his golf swing. Instead, he is stretched out on a hospital bed at the University of Minnesota, tethered to an intravenous drip.
Last November, Jared and his family learned that he has type 1 diabetes. The news propelled Jared’s parents, Samantha “Sam” and Dana Deines, into action. “Dana and I were relentless in our pursuit of the best care we could possibly find for Jared,” says Sam. “We wanted to find pioneers in the field.”
Their search led them to Antoinette Moran, M.D., professor and head of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Minnesota. Moran is an international leader in efforts to prevent and cure diabetes in children. She set in motion the family’s first University visit and offered them an opportunity to enroll in a research program called TrialNet, through which Moran and colleagues are testing the efficacy of the drug abatacept to slow the progression of new onset type 1 diabetes. The Deineses enrolled Jared. “We wanted to do everything humanly possible to help our son,” Sam says.
TrialNet is a global network of researchers— of which the University is a central participant— involved in research focused on the prevention and early treatment of type 1 diabetes. As part of the program, TrialNet also conducts diabetes screening for family members of people with type 1 diabetes.
Besides participating in the study, Jared and his family say they receive “gold-standard care” at the University. One highlight they mention is Jared’s relationship with his medical team—especially nurse Anne Kogler and study coordinator Mary Ann Boes, who play a big role in educating Jared about living with diabetes.
“They are huge advocates of Jared,” Sam says. “I hope they know how much we care about them and how thankful we are that they are in our lives.”