Participant Spotlight
Participant Spotlight

On the Frontline with the Maguire Family

The Maguire family is united in fighting the war on T1D. To participate in TrialNet research, they travel from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to the Hospital for Sick Children at the University of Toronto every 6 months. That's a 7.5-hour drive, often through plenty of snow!

Representing thousands of TrialNet families, the Maguires are featured in a new video jointly produced by SickKids and TrialNet. 

At age 8, Abigail (Abby) Maguire is already a TrialNet veteran. Screening positive for five T1D autoantibodies at age 4, she participated in the Oral Insulin Prevention Study for 3 years and is now committed to long term follow-up monitoring. 

Abby had her TrialNet screening after her sister, Emma, was diagnosed at age 4. Their father, Mike, was also diagnosed at age 4. 

Although Mike doesn’t remember much about his diagnosis, he remembers the hospital and the concern of his grandparents. “You don’t want your child to go through what you go through. T1D doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re part of the research, they are closely monitoring you. You’re going to know when the disease status changes.”

Abby’s message to other kids who are thinking about getting screened: “Don’t worry. It (needle stick) just pinches for one minute. It’s worth it. You’re doing this for everyone with diabetes—even my sister and my dad.”

Emma says she is proud of and thankful for her sister’s participation in TrialNet. “You’re not always going to have a sister who will take a needle for you. I’m lucky to have a sister who cares.”

“Anything we can do to help type 1 research is a no brainer for us,” says Abby’s mother, Bridget, who was screened and tested negative. “It’s reassuring to know Abby is being monitored. Anything we can do to prevent onset of T1D, get the knowledge out there, and be on the frontline to get that information is very important to me. The sooner you catch this disease and get on top of it, the better.” 

The TrialNet team at SickKids is grateful for the family’s participation in TrialNet research and their participation in the video. Diane Wherett, MD, TrialNet Principal Investigator at SickKids, says, “TrialNet families like the Maguires are key to finding answers.” 

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