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[IP] Free at last

Hi All,

On May 30th I was transplanted for the second time at the Diabetes Research
Institute in Miami with 500,000 islet cells.  My pump was disconnected just
before the surgery and I have been insulin independent since the surgery.

Each patient is different as size is a big factor in determining how many
islets are necessary to make enough insulin for total independence.  In my
case I am 5'11" and weigh 182 pounds.  Th Edmonton Trial is taking people
who weigh less than 155 pounds. I was fortunate to be selected to the DRI
protocol where weight was not the main factor.

For the first 30 hours post surgery the islets kept my blood sugars at
normal levels and then the cells sort of have a nervous breakdown as they
make their own blood supply and get used to their new home in my liver.  I
am still off insulin but my blood sugars are a little elevated.  This
morning I was fasting at 150.

There are lots of medications I must take but the trade off is well worth it
for me.  After taking insulin for 47 years and worrying about all of the
awful complications diabetes has to offer I am grateful that I don't have
those worries anymore.

I read all of the studies regarding the anti-rejection drugs and have found
the known side effects to be minimal so far.  I have had very slight side
effects that have all gone away since the first transplant in March of 2002.

I will still upgrade my 508 to a Paradigm just incase.

 So far this has been a wonderful experience and I am thrilled to now be
"free at last"

Ken Bernstein
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