Doctors believe Northamptonshire man seemingly cured of type 1 diabetes has rare gene

The Northamptonshire man seemingly cured of type 1 diabetes has provided an update on his condition, as doctors continue to analyse his test results.

Friday, 9th June 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 9th June 2017, 7:15 am
Dan Darkes, 30, has been off insulin for seven months

Dan Darkes, from Daventry, discovered he had type 1 in 2010 shortly after leaving the Army, but he stopped taking his insulin injections earlier this year after tests showed his blood sugar levels were below average/average to low.

Mr Darkes went to the United States in March this year for further tests, after which scientists put the probability of his potentially miraculous recovery being genuine at 80 per cent.

Since returning from America, Mr Darkes’ results have been analysed by doctors at Northampton General Hospital, and he has been visiting the hospital every week for two months.

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“My tests indicated that doctors found a rare gene in my results and that has acted as a ‘backup’ immune system.

“This has led to insulin being reproduced in my pancreas.”

He added: “The gene has basically recharged my immune system and pancreas, kicking into action beta cells which have laid dormant for the time I have had type 1.

“The consultants haven’t ruled out the possibility that me staying active and running was the trauma or shock which triggered the healing process.”

Other type 1 diabetics have contacted Mr Darkes - nicknamed Miracle Dan by his friends - as a result of the publicity he has received since his health turnaround, and are as eager for answers as he is.

Many are hopeful that he might hold the key to finding some sort of cure for the disease in the future, and Mr Darkes is anxious for his results to be finalised so that definitive conclusions can be drawn.

“Further analysis is being carried out and it is taking a bit longer than I thought,” he said.

“It is frustrating, I’ve found it hard waiting around because I want the answers too.”

Mr Darkes has covered many miles as a long-distance runner, which the scientists believe could have been behind his recovery, and he continues to do so today.

“I am still off insulin and have been now for seven months,” he said.

“I am still doing my running and am currently training for an ultra marathon.”