Richard’s Story: Receiving TZIELD Infusions for Diabetes

Richard TZIELD Therapy

Richard is a 10-year-old who loves football and baseball, an avid coin collector and one of 5 boys in a tight-knit family. Most recently, he also became the first pediatric patient in the state of Nebraska to receive TZIELD infusions, a prescription medicine that can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes for approximately 3 years.

After receiving FDA approval, Children’s Nebraska—in collaboration with other hospitals across the region who’ve administered this leading-edge treatment—began developing a protocol for infusion, helping us better serve this patient population in our very own community.

Richard’s family has been in and out of Children’s Endocrine Clinic as his brothers were diagnosed with T1D and, when lab testing revealed he was likely to be diagnosed within the year, too, they took a leap on this new treatment.

“You have to do everything you can for your children, and this was worth a try,” said Richard’s dad, Seth.

“I wanted to try it,” Richard added. “It’s not scary because there are nice people here who are just trying to help you.”

TZIELD is the first disease-modifying therapy for T1D, a disease that occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the body’s insulin-producing cells, leading to dependence on exogenous insulin therapy for survival. The screening process for this drug is specific, driven by FDA guidelines, and patients must meet certain criteria to begin treatment. Families in the Omaha metro area can be screened for free through Trial Net.

After completing two weeks of daily infusions at Children’s, Richard and his family are excited to see the positive impact this has on his life, helping suppress the physical and emotional tasks of diabetes management for a while longer. He can continue living a normal day-to-day life without worrying about injections throughout the day, checking blood sugar or wearing an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor just yet.

“Having the option in Omaha was key, I don’t know if we could have done it at another (further away) hospital,” Seth said. “With Children’s, everything is in one system. His doctors, the infusion staff and everything has been amazing.”

At Children’s, we’re proud to continue improving the quality of—and access to—innovative pediatric care for patients like Richard.

To learn more about Endocrinology and Diabetes care at Children’s, click here.


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