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Dr. Frederick Banting: In His Own Words

Today is November 14, 2014.

World Diabetes Day

I’ve spent the day taking care of routine stuff.

A dentist appointment. A trip to Costco. Dishes.

I’ve also periodically checked Sugar’s Nightscout screen to keep tabs on the basal changes I’ve been tweaking over the last couple of days.

(Sidebar: Haven’t heard of Nightscout? You should really check it out.)

Today I’ve thought a lot about Frederick Banting, and how thankful I am that he was born on November 14, 1891. Afterall, he discovered the miracle treatment that keeps my daughter alive today: Insulin.

Over the years, I’ve read many articles about Dr. Banting and the discovery of insulin, but I haven’t encountered very many direct quotes from the man himself. I know it’s silly, but sometimes I ponder what it would have been like to attend a conference with Dr. Banting headlining as the keynote speaker. Can you imagine the tweets, hashtags, and Facebook updates that would start trending from such an event???


So much has changed since that first injection of insulin was given to Leonard Thompson on January 11, 1922. Syringes have evolved from reusable to disposable. Today there are insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. The Bionic Pancreas and encapsulation sit on the horizon.

Yet so much has remained the same.

I read Dr. Banting’s Nobel Lecture for the first time today, and found myself awestruck at the similarities between life as we know it right now, and life as it existed when he delivered his address on September 15, 1925.

I’ll leave you with some of the profound excerpts of his words:

banting 1 banting 2

banting 3 banting 4

banting 5 banting 6

banting 7 banting 8

banting 9 banting 10


Category: diabetes, WDD
  • Sara says:

    I thought about writing about my World Diabetes Day activities. It was just a normal day at work but isn’t that remarkable in itself ?

    The quote that made me pause was how Dr. Banting suggested pre-bolusing. Impressive considering the technology of the time!

    November 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm
  • Scott E says: amazes me how many of those “lessons learned” back then still need to be learned today. Dr. Banting was wise beyond his years. It’s great to read these observations!

    November 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm
  • katy says:

    The one about the curves superimposed on each other—I had thought that was kind of a recent idea! These are amazing.


    November 16, 2014 at 6:02 am
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