Before the discovery of insulin, most children diagnosed with diabetes would die within a year -- as parents and doctors stood by, unable to do anything to help them.
Then in 1922, a young surgeon named Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best, working with chemist James Collip, developed a form of purified insulin. They tested the insulin on a young boy named Leonard Thompson. Thompson’s blood glucose (sugar) level was high and climbing – and was about to kill him. Within 24 hours of receiving the insulin, Thompson’s blood glucose levels had returned to near normal – and he was indisputably alive.
Today, more than 366 million people worldwide have diabetes. While diabetes can be controlled with medications including insulin, diet and exercise, an estimated 4.6 million people still die due to the disease every year. Learn more about diabetes .