Kansas City,
09:54 AM

Down with Type 1 Diabetes! KC Chief visits CMKC to have blood drawn, promote awareness, seek answers

Orlando Brown Jr blood draw

Kansas City Chief Orlando Brown Jr. knows personally the devastation Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) can have on individuals and families, and on Monday, June 20 he came to Children’s Mercy Kansas City to have blood drawn to enroll in a study designed to slow and prevent progression of the disease.

“My brother was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in fifth grade, my father passed from ketoacidosis, and both of my dad’s parents passed from diabetes as well, so this is a cause that hits home for me,” Brown said. “I think it’s very important to raise awareness.”

Orlando Brown Jr & TrialNet team

Relatives of people with T1D are 15 times more likely to develop the disease. Orlando’s father, who also played in the National Football League, died at age 40 from diabetic ketoacidosis, never knowing he had the disease. Orlando, now himself the father of a young son, said, “I worry about him and his safety, and I want to be here a long time to continue to watch him grow.”

Children’s Mercy is one of 26 T1D clinical centers for TrialNet, an international study that screens high-risk individuals learn more about how T1D develops and explore ways to prevent. Orlando’s blood will be analyzed and become part of the study’s research data base.

TrialNet study testing criteria is based on familial relationship. To qualify for screening, candidates must:

 ·       Have a first-degree relative (mom, dad, sibling) living with T1D and be 2.5 to 45 years old, or

 ·       Have a second-degree relative (uncle, aunt, cousin) living with T1D and be 2.5 to 20 years old.

Screening for risk of developing T1D is accomplished through a simple venous blood sample when collected in-person. If a participant conducts the blood test at home, they receive a finger-poke to be collected and sent through the mail. CM will test anyone who meets the criteria above.

Dr. McDonough, Orlando Brown Jr, Dr. Clements

“Our goal is a future without T1D,” Dr. Mark Clements, Children’s Mercy Pediatric Endocrinologist said. “This is a global disease, affecting children and adults alike. It’s a disease that requires an incredible burden of self-care, with glucose monitoring and insulin doses multiple times a day. Our goal in TrialNet is to see if we can develop new medication that can help reduce the burden for individuals living with it, for their family members who are at risk and for the entire community.”

Brown said his hope is to inspire others, “For those that are eligible, I hope you’ll enroll in the study by getting your blood drawn - it really was easy - or join me by donating to Children’s Mercy to further this important research.” 


To learn more about the study visit: Children’s Mercy Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet.

To donate visit: support.childrensmercy.org/KC57.