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We will turn Type One into Type None

Another year has passed since our last letter to you and WOW have things changed since this time last year. Zack just passed his 5 year “anniversary” of his T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) diagnosis.  And we actually do celebrate this family event!  Another year has passed and we are another year closer to having a cure for him and the millions of other kids and adults that fight this disease.  Another year has passed and we are that much closer to the amazing advances in care, treatment and ultimately prevention of this disease.  So, while this is an anniversary that could be looked on as a negative, we like to see it as apositive – we’re closer – oh so much closer – to finding that cure. 

th grade.  He’s again the ONLY kid at his 3 grade middle school that has T1D.  He does a fabulous job at paying attention to his body and managing his own health now.  He can calculate his carbs based on what and how much he eats and determine how much insulin he needs at each meal, which I think is an amazing feat for an 11-12 year old boy.  He continues to have an excellent experience with his Dexcom continuous glucose monitor. We all get many more nights of consistent sleep now!  A few updates on this year’s research advancements:

Beta cell encapsulation is NOW undergoing human clinical trials – this device is an absolute game changer for those with T1D.  It is, in essence, a tiny little shark tank that’s implanted under a patient’s skin, where blood and fluids can flow freely throughout.  Inside the tank are those tiny, amazing,wonderful little insulin producing Beta cells, which are what people with T1D are lacking.  The big bad T-cells, which our auto immune systems produce and which are the culprits for “killing” those precious Beta cells, are too big to get into the encapsulation device, the shark tank, to harm the Beta cells.  So - Voila!!!  Now the patient has actual live, healthy beta cells existing in their body!!  I’m completely amazed with the thoughts and the science that has gone into this device and am SO THANKFUL for the creative thinkers in the medical world that can make something so science fiction in nature, a reality.  And we are almost there – this device could be on the market in the US in as little as 3-5 years.  But we have to continue funding the research to get it approved by the FDA.  That’s why we are writing this letter again this year.

A recent article from an endocrinologist in Switzerland advises that another identified cell in our pancreases called the Delta cell, isactually capable of producing not only glucagon, the cell’s primary function,but can also “switch hit” and produce the alternate hormone of insulin.  These findings are truly the key to the biological cure for T1D!  There are still lots of studies to be done behind the abilities of these cells, what has to happen to trigger the switch, migrating those findings into humans, etc. This is just another example of how much has changed and how much closer we are to beating this disease.  That’s why we are writing this letter again this year.

The artificial pancreas is absolutely a reality on our horizon now.  The research achieved over this past year has launched human clinical trials outside of a “closed”/hospital environment, i.e.instead of a patient sitting and existing in the hospital for 7-10 days during the trial so that he/she is in an extremely controlled environment, the patientis are living and existing in their own everyday world for a more realistic “life experience” for the trial.  This was a really big step for the tests and has taken this research leaps and bounds closer to this device being available on the US market.  That’s why we are writing this letter again this year. 

th and our family continues to be committed to fighting for a cure for Zack and everyone who is affected by T1D.  Last year was our 5th walk and aggregately Zack’s friends and family team, which includes you, has raised almost $50,000!!!  With your help, he will surpass this amount this year!!  This is not only an amazing feat for our team as a whole, but it will give Zack some special recognition at the annual JDRF Awards Ceremony later this year.  He’s doing more and more public speaking about his ongoing daily battle and doing it in front of really large audiences and he loves telling anyone who will listen what an amazing army of family and friends he has supporting him.  You are a blessing in our lives and Jeff & I can never thank you enough for supporting our son.  You and your efforts truly mean the world to us. 

Mail a check payable to JDRF to 1709 Overcheck Lane, Brentwood, TN  37027 OR Scroll to the bottom and donate under Zack's name.

  Much love to you all!!

Beth, Jeff & Zack



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Date and time

September 27, 2014
Check-in: 8:30 AM
Starts: 10:00 AM
Length of walk: 2 Mile Family Route


Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
600 James Robertson Pkwy
Nashville, TN 37243



Alex Barker
Email | (615) 383-6781

Middle Tennessee Chapter
105 Westpark Drive
Suite 415
Brentwood, TN 37027