Artwork for podcast Global Wellness Conversations
62. Lisa Hepner - Walking the Diabetes Tightrope with Heart & Hope
Episode 622nd November 2022 • Global Wellness Conversations • Global Wellness Summit
00:00:00 00:49:33

Share Episode


While taking a proactive approach to wellness is always preferred, not everyone has that luxury. For some, taking control of your own well-being is a matter of life or death—as it is for the millions of people suffering from type 1 diabetes (T1D). No matter what their lifestyle, the body of a type 1 diabetic will never naturally produce insulin.

In 2021 alone, 6.7 million people died from diabetes—that’s the population of Madrid. What will it take to ease the burden on so many and support research to find a cure once and for all?

Documentary filmmaker Lisa Hepner set out to find the answer. Along with her husband Guy Mossman, they created the new film “The Human Trial,” a movie over ten years in the making that explores the human side of research and the people behind it.

While on the path to curing her own type 1 diabetes, Lisa was given unprecedented access to a real clinical trial involving stem cells. After her own 30-year struggle with diabetes and always hearing the cure was five years away, she decided to take things into her own hands. The documentary follows her own intimate journey in real-time, along with the other patients and scientists involved, to be the first to give this cutting-edge and ultimately uncertain treatment a try.

Most of us don’t have to consider the mental toll of type 1 diabetes. Not only do patients need daily injections to keep them alive, but they have to consider every potentiality to ensure they are never without access to this life-saving necessity. And that’s if they can afford them: One in four Americans ration their insulin because they can’t afford to use it as often as needed.

While technology has come a long way in easing the burden, such as continuous glucose monitors being able to read blood sugar levels every few minutes and beam them directly to your phone or smartwatch, the process is still frustratingly manual. And T1D is one of the only diseases where the patient plays such a large role in treating themselves, which speaks to how far our healthcare has to go in supporting people with this disease.

Ultimately, Lisa says this: “There is hope for a cure.” Research is heading in the right direction, it just needs funding to continue. Despite hearing for over thirty years that we are just “five years away from the cure,” based on what she’s seen, Lisa truly believes it is true today. 

To learn more, visit Lisa Hepner’s site at


Hosted by Kim Marshall.