As one of three brothers who all have diabetes, Patrick knows more than most about the disease. Shortly after being diagnosed at 12 years old, he made a decision: “I realized I needed to fight this disease and battle it rather than let the disease take ahold of me. Today I’m a diabetes researcher because of having diabetes myself.”
“For me it fuels what I do in the lab and what I do today and I don’t—I know this sounds corny but I don’t do what I do in the lab for myself I do it for others that have it. I know what this disease does to kids and families so that fuels me in the lab so that families don’t have to deal with this. It’s pretty tough on families.”
And for inspiration, Patrick turns to the real life heroes who are changing the lives of people with diabetes. “The scientists who discovered insulin, Banting and Best, are definitely heroes of mine because without them I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing—I wouldn’t be alive. Also some of the mentors that have trained me have been heroes of mine.”
Courage is the key to leading others, Patrick believes. Those who dedicate themselves to a cause, and even the little kids who look out for others like them, are where we’ll find our heroes in the future. And according to Patrick, that should fuel all of us.