Popping with Pride.

Just for once I’m not going to blog about my children. I’m going to tell you about my mum, just for a moment.

You might have seen the Channel 4 documentary about the “Bionic Man” are project about seeing how far we can go in reconstructing a human from the inventions medical science have created so far.

It’s pretty impressive. The Telegraph have a good video on it, showing for the first half the thoughts of the man who shared his features with the creation and who tried on the arm they put on the model. And the second part of the video is…

My Mum. Puddle Granny.

Maddy made her a “we are proud” certificate.

For most of my childhood and all of my adulthood, she has devoted nearly everything to developing a gel that releases insulin into the blood from a device worn under the skin, something that would utterly transform the lives of diabetics if it can get to production and use. The gel reacts to glucose, releases insulin which controls the blood sugar and keeps the diabetic stable and well.

I have to be honest, it’s mindboggling. I sell things and knit, often in my pyjamas at 4pm. I was borne by someone clever enough to create life changing devices. Devote 20 years to creating them. Seriously. I remember this as an idea, a set of bits and bobs on her table at work and home, endless papers and studies. And now, among the many important and exciting academic things around the world she goes to, her artificial pancreas is being chosen as the most viable clever thing to be put into a project about rebuilding a person. It might, more importantly, only be 7 years away from existing in real life, with a good following wind and some luck.

I repeat. I sell things and knit 😉

So today the two girls were given days off school to go,along with many of our good friends, down to the Science Museum to watch her presenting her device to the world at large as an Antennae Scientist. We saw, clustered like over excited 3rd years around her table, her little blob of sticky gloopy gel transform into a runny liquid when glucose was added, just like that. It was AMAZING. Utterly amazing. It’s made of beans, this gel and, while reading a random paper 20 years ago, she had a bit of a thought, actually did something about it and is now on the cusp of changing the lives of so many people.

Well done Granny Puddle, we are indeed very proud of you. And thank you to all our friends for coming to and seeing her presenting. I know it meant a lot to her.


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  1. Ceri says

    This would nean so much to so many children and adults, including my 7 year old daughter! Please thank your mum on behalf of all Type 1’s.
    Oh and I don’t think that running lord knows how many businesses, plus raising a family and home edding for many years can be seen as simply doing a bit of knitting and selling things!
    The women in your family rock :)

  2. says

    Thats amazing, your mum is amazing, not just to have an idea but to keep it going for that long. She must have made a lot of sacrifes. Not surprised that you are all so proud of her.

  3. Rosemary says

    Amazing. I’d love to know more about this: can you give the best links? And for it to have been pioneered by a home-ed. gran is absolutely the icing on the cake :-))

  4. Michaela says

    We watched the programme (wincing slightly as there is a high possibility that our type 1 son may end up with amputations later in life :( ), and I heard the mention of the artificial pancreas. I remembered your mum (I think you sent us a link to a questionnaire a few years ago?)! Anyway, this would be bloody brilliant! People have no idea how much trying to control blood sugar impacts on a diabetic’s day to day life (and that of their families too!). Well done to your mum! (I’m also in awe of you too and how much you manage to do!)

  5. says

    wow, wow and WOW.
    My son was diagnosed type 1 diabetic last March. Completely out of the blue, no reason. He is 10 and facing a lifetime of insulin injections – his future has been turned upside down.
    Our dream is that a ‘cure’ will be found in his lifetime. I am humbled by your Mother’s get on and do attitude, how proud you must be. Please pass on my pathetic gratitude.

  6. says

    It doesn’t surprise me that someone as amazing as you would have an amazing mum too :-)

    I was wondering, as well as helping diabetics, would this be able to replace an entire pancreas at some point? Pancreatic cancer has a very low survival rate and as I lost my dad to it, anything that would help others survive would be amazing.

    Well done to your mum and all the lives she will be helping in the future xx

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