Meet A Volunteer - Gracie

Gracie H. understands the importance of research. She watched her father, a Type II diabetic, suffer the loss of his vision and the amputation of both of his legs due to the disease. Thanks to clinical drug trials, new and innovative treatments for diabetes are being developed to prevent such devastating effects of the illness. This is more important than ever to Gracie, who, fifteen years ago, discovered she also has diabetes.

A retired educator, Gracie has participated in numerous diabetic research studies at National Clinical Research.

“The people at NCR are superb,” she says with exuberance. She describes the staff at NCR as efficient and friendly. “Even the ones who don’t know me stop and say hi in the hallway.”

And what does she think of the physicians? Not only does she describe them as caring and knowledgeable, but one of them shares one of Gracie’s fondest pastimes: “I love to fish. Dr Hoekstra always makes time to talk to me about fishing,” she chuckles.

The former elementary and middle school principal also praises the dieticians on staff at NCR. They’ve helped her make better choices with her diet, even though she refers to herself as “hard-headed” about what she likes to eat. “I don’t always eat like I’m supposed to, but then I remember what I’ve learned!”

As for retirement, 67-year-old Gracie laments that there are not enough hours in the day to fit in all of her activities. Always on the go, she not only fishes but she spends time sewing, doing crossword puzzles and two nights a week she teaches classes to people working toward their GED. As an educator, she knows the power of knowledge, and through NCR, she has learned invaluable facts about her disease and the medicines used to treat it.

The memory of her father’s suffering is her impetus to join research trials. “I want to help prevent others from going through what my father went through.”

Research is the path to that goal, and Gracie is living proof that conditions such as diabetes can be well-managed with the help of clinical drug trials. In the meantime, Gracie is not just living with her disease, she’s flourishing. Got a rod and reel, anyone?