Elizabeth Hughes, ca. 1923 courtesy of Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto
Happy Birthday to Elizabeth Hughes! Elizabeth was born on August 19, 1907. Just a few days shy of her 15th birthday, she became one of the first recipients of insulin. Her life was transformed.
Elizabeth arrived in Toronto from America a frail child, fighting to stay alive just one more day, armed with a hopeful spirit that refused to diminish despite her dire condition.
It was the discovery of insulin that allowed her to live a long life. She died in 1981 at the age of 73, having had children and grandchildren of her own. Over the course of 58 years, Elizabeth received some 42,000 insulin injections. Insulin made those 58 years possible.
A great review of BREAKTHROUGH was posted by Lit Chick on the blog Lit Chit Chat. Here are some higlights:
“Breakthrough had me hooked from page five and kept me holding my breath right up to the last word.”
“Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg have mastered the art of writing a historical non-fiction account…”
“The reader is given a devastating and un-sugar coated look into the seriousness of the illness at the time…”
You can read the entire review below or at Lit Chit Chat.
Book: Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, The Discovery of Insulin, and The Making of A Medical Miracle.
Reviewer Alan Caruba included Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg on his monthly list of best new non-fiction! Alan Caruba is an author and a charter member of the National Book Critics Circle who has been reviewing for more than five decades. Here’s what he wrote:
“I heartily recommend this book.”
“…mark your calendar…”
“The whole story is fraught with drama…”
Read the full post below:
A guest blog, written by Arthur Ainsberg, was posted yesterday on DiabetesMine.com. DiabetesMine was founded by Amy Tenderich, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in May 2003. She writes of the site: “I started this blog to connect with others, to offset the feeling of isolation with diabetes, and to sort out and share some of what I was learning. It’s my “gold mine of informational nuggets,’ if you will…”
A full re-posting of Arthur’s guest post is below:
Posted in Breakthrough the Book, Discovery of Insulin, Elizabeth Evans Hughes, Guest Blog Posts
Tagged Arthur Ainsberg, book, Breakthrough, Diabetes Mine, discovery, Elizabeth Evans Hughes, Frederick Banting, Insulin, non-fiction, research, scientists, Thea Cooper, type 1
Physician and medical writer Peter Lipson gives praise to Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle on Forbes.com:
“[Breakthrough] successfully weaves together the personal struggles of the patients, doctors and scientists living and dying on the edge of one of medicine’s greatest discoveries.”
“Cooper and Ainsberg create vivid images…”
“[Breakthrough] relies heavily on primary historical sources and documents.”
A reposting of the full article is below…
Book Review: Breakthrough
Charles Best and Frederick Banting
It’s been a steamy summer so far, with record-high temperatures hitting cities around the world. The sweltering summer heat can send even sun worshipers running for the cool relief of an air-conditioned room. But that wasn’t always an option.
Almost ninety years ago, in 1921, Toronto experienced one of the hottest summers on record. It was in this oppressive heat that Frederick Banting and Charles Best would begin their research for a new diabetes treatment at a University of Toronto lab. The conditions were far from ideal. The operating table was made of wood, which meant it was difficult to keep sterile, the floor couldn’t be effectively scrubbed because water would leak through to the ceiling below, glassware was smeared, and linens were tattered and stained. The heat exacerbated the already difficult objectives at hand.
Posted in Breakthrough the Book, Discovery of Insulin
Tagged Arthur Ainsberg, Breakthrough, Charles Best, diabetes, diabetic, discoveries, discovery, Frederick Banting, Insulin, research, scientists, Thea Cooper, University of Toronto
We are thrilled to have received a fantastic review in Publishers Weekly!
Read the review below:
Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle
Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg, St. Martin’s, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-64870-1
Posted in Breakthrough the Book
Tagged 20th century, Arthur Ainsberg, book, Charles Evans Hughes, chief justice, diabetes, discovery, Elizabeth Evans Hughes, George Henry Alexander Clowes, history, Insulin, medical, miracle, Nobel Prize, non-fiction, pancreas, pancreatic extract, Publishers Weekly, research, scientists, Thea Cooper, U.S. Supreme Court, University of Toronto
Award-winning journalist and author James S. Hirsch, who also has Type 1 diabetes, wrote about Breakthrough in the June edition of DiaTribe, a subscription-based newsletter about diabetes. Here’s what he said:
“‘Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle,’ by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg, captures the complex human drama of the teenage girl who was saved by insulin.”
“[Elizabeth’s] story – a remarkable brew of courage, triumph, secrecy, and shame – resonates to this day, and new details of her life emerge in a book that will be published later this year.”
Posted in Breakthrough the Book, Discovery of Insulin, Elizabeth Evans Hughes
Tagged Arthur Ainsberg, Barnard College, blood sugar, Breakthrough, Charles Evans Hughes, chief justice, cure, diabetes, diabetic, DiaTribe, discovery, drugs, Elizabeth Evans Hughes, Frederick Banting, injections, Insulin, James S. Hirsch, Katharine Lonsdale, ketoacidosis, medical, mellitus, Michael Bliss, miracle, miraculous, needles, New York, non-fiction, normalcy, pancreas, pancreatic, read, reading, research, scientists, Secretary of State, starvation diet, Thea Cooper, treatment, type 1, U.S. Supreme Court, University of Toronto, William Howard Taft, William T. Gossett
Welcome to the Breakthrough blog! This has been an incredible journey—seven years since a 2003 article in the New York Times first sparked a passionate determination to share this extraordinary story with the world. And now, after painstaking research—much of the process was like being inside a detective novel, searching for clues and chasing down leads—and carefully weaving this complex story into a thrilling read, the book is almost here!
Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle will be published on September 14, but you can pre-order your copy online today at the Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites.
Posted in Breakthrough the Book
Tagged Arthur Ainsberg, book, Breakthrough, Charles Evans Hughes, diabetes, discoveries, discovery, Elizabeth Hughes, Insulin, medical, mellitus, non-fiction, read, reading, research, Thea Cooper, type 1, type 2