PLEDGE Study to help identify which children may be at risk of developing Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A new study with Sanford Health is helping families know sooner if their child is at risk of developing Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.

5-year-old Lily Gates enjoys doing crafts and coloring.

With a family history of Type 1 diabetes, her mom wanted to make sure they could be prepared if this was something that could potentially be in Lily’s future.

“My sister had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was young and I saw how that affected her life and our lives as a family, and if there is any way I can learn more about it if that is something that is in her future, I really wanted to do that,” mom, Allison Gates said.

That’s one of the reasons why she enrolled her daughter in the PLEDGE study.

“It’s a trial and basically it’s a test to see whether your child has something in the blood stream that would predict if they are going to develop Type 1 diabetes,” president for Research, Innovation and World clinics, Sanford Health, David Pearce said.

Parents can enroll children who are five years or younger.

“If a parent enrolls their child in the diabetes study, they will have blood drawn anywhere from 1 to 3 times depending how old their child is when they enroll, so they’ll have up to three blood draws,” pediatrician, Sanford Health, Candice Nelson said.

“If we can know who is on that path, that gives us the option to intervene and at a minimum, we can start insulin before they get that sick and prevent that,” pediatric endocrinologist, Sanford Health, Kurt Griffin said.

Information parents like Gates say will be beneficial for her daughter’s future.

“For how little we had to do be involved in it and the valuable information we could have, I think is really important and valuable,” Gates said.

Sanford was awarded a $1.3 million grant for the study from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to conduct the screenings.

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