On this day in 1921, Frederick Grant Banting (1891–1941), a young Canadian doctor at the University of Toronto, along with medical student Charles H. Best, discovered insulin.
After centuries of scientists who searched in vain for answers, their discovery revolutionized the treatment of diabetes. As producer David Kelley once observed, "Nine out of ten new ideas will be mistakes, but the tenth will let in the light."
To let the light in, the duo isolated and purified fluid from a dog's pancreas. They injected this serum into a young boy who was barely alive. A miracle happened--the patient's blood sugar levels decreased.
The magic elixir insulin had been found: the miracle, their Nobel Prize-winning discovery, the renewed hope for millions who suffered with diabetes! Banting, who was genuinely committed to helping others, sold the patent for his insulin discovery to the Univerisity of Toronto for $1.
"Out of difficulties grow miracles," said philosopher Jean de La Bruyère.
According to the American Diabetes Association, about 17 million Americans suffer from diabetes, a chronic disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a vital hormone needed to convert sugar into energy. The cause of diabetes remains a mystery. But with renewed education and diet control, and thanks to the discovery of Banting and Best, countless lives have been prolonged while the world waits for a cure.
As religious leader Martin Luther said, "Everything that is done in the world is done by hope."
Work hard: the ideas will come.