Advocate for Afrezza

Brendan’s Story of Hope in the UK

This week I planned on finally finishing the Week 20 summary as well as a few other projects I have going, but someone touched my life a few months ago and he tweeted some special news, and so I wanted to devote my time to something even more important than an excellent diabetes summary . It is a story about an unexpected  life changing moment for both of us that happened around the same time. This is the story of my friend Brendan.

Most people who follow me know that my sister was terminally ill and I flew to England to be with her in her final hours of her life some months ago. It was on very short notice that I decided to make the trip. As many of you know my web site has been read in about 130 countries and I receive emails from around the world. I try to find the time to read and reply to most of them but obviously with what was going on with my sister I had plenty of other things on my mind. However, at exactly the same time I was going to England, I received a very touching email from a person in the UK named Brendan Hyland who is a type 1 diabetic, diagnosed almost 30 years ago and he was looking for help and feeling like giving up. He explained that he watched my interview with Emily Coles on the internet and that we had many similarities in our diabetic journey and he wanted to know if Afrezza works as good as I say it does.

Brendan’s A1C is around 7 or so which is fairly controlled, but as he explained to me, he suffers from “massive swings” in his BG control–from extreme lows near 36 to highs around 450–and it was wreaking havoc on his business and personal life. He had tried insulin pumps on 2 different occasions and neither worked very well for him. He was constantly exhausted from babysitting his diabetes around meals and also at bedtime, leaving him completely tired and struggling with his everyday activities, and just being able to perform his job was a huge battle.  It could have been the wild blood glucose swings, the profuse sweating, the not being able to concentrate for long periods of time, or maybe it was the need to go to the bathroom when his blood sugars were high and not being able to skip out and take the 5 minutes to handle the situation —  but things were getting to be too much to bear, and he realized that diabetes was winning the war. With all the worry about the toll diabetes was taking on his physical health, he also realized there is a tremendous mental health strain as well that not many people talk about. After all, you don’t see many people in diabetes magazines that look like either of us – he is 6 ft 3 in, and a very commanding individual who works out regularly and looks by all discerning eyes to be someone who couldn’t possibly have any issues or problems. But that is diabetes. With it comes all the terrible emotions and side work no one else can imagine or even see.

At the same time of Brendan’s email, my sister, who lived in England and was losing her battle with Breast Cancer and struggling to prepare her 3 kids (all under 10) and her husband for life without her, little did I know that out of this deep loss I would be gaining a new friend, Brendan. My sisters husband was kind enough to welcome Brendan to come visit at their house in the midst of our grief after hearing about his situation, and although he was in route to meet all of us in person that day, after 4 hours of traffic due to a national strike and holiday, he decided it would be safer and easier to speak via telephone, and that time of exchanging stories forever deepened our friendship.  We continue speaking to this day and although we haven’t officially met in person, I’m proud to report Brendan is now on Afrezza. And so far so good. Best of all, he now has more hope, confidence and spends less than worrying and more time living and it’s only his first week. 

Screenshot_9_3_15__12_16_PM                    brendan afrezza

brendan tweet

As we all wait for that eventual good news of approvals around the world, I think it’s an appropriate time to remember that there are real, hurting people like Brendan doing their very best to live a “normal” life and are desperate for what Afrezza can do for them. And not just in England either. The US Market is still relatively unaware that Afrezza the “real-time” solution even exists, yet as Afrezza Users we  know that this will all change very soon as more people discover he power and more success stories like Brendan continue to happen.

I would like to give a special shout out today to all the Mannkind Sales Reps who do the very challenging job of educating doctors, diabetes educators and others day in and day out on a drug that saves lives in a medical environment that sometimes resists anything new, different or paradigm-changing.  Please know how much all of us Afrezza Users consider you “heroes” for what you do to help diabetics and appreciate all your efforts. There is truly nothing in the world like Afrezza–and doctors really need to know that! Afrezza does more than improve A1C Levels–its gives us our time and our life back, and in the process, it makes us feel completely “normal” again. Thank you for going the extra mile and doing your best–you are saving lives and we will hear of many more “life-changing” examples in the future because of what you are doing today!   

Please keep Brendan in your thoughts and prayers on his Afrezza journey and feel free to send him a line of encouragement. Out of a loss there always comes rays of light into your life–and Brendan for me is one other those bright, passionate people who inspires others, and I wish him every success on the drug that also saved my life–Afrezza. Welcome to the Afrezza Family Brendan, and we look forward to hearing more about your experience and also to see you spreading the word to the entire UK about how this new “life-changing” drug works for you! Go UK AU!



  • Reply Jeff O |

    A very touching story. Thanks for sharing Sam.
    It’s always hard to see the light in the middle of a dark time. Glad to see you made a new friend and were able to help him.

  • Reply Steve Parsons |

    Most inspiring, heartfelt story I have read related to afrezza to date. Good luck Brendan and thank you Sam for your tireless devotion to improving the lives of diabetics around the world!!

  • Reply Bradley Edwards |

    Thank you Sam for your efforts on behalf of Afrezza and VERY BEST wishes to Brendan. I am a Type 2 who is using Afrezza, largely due to you! It lowers my blood sugar faster than injectable insulin – much faster. It think it will eventually help millions of diabetics. God bless Al Mann!

  • Reply Jennifer |

    Thank you for shearing this story, very happy to hear that Brendan is in Afrezza and his feeling better…you are the Man Sam!!!

  • Reply Anonymous |

    God bless you and your family Sam!!!
    Thank you for all your work to help diabetics around the world.

  • Reply Hillard Saveth |

    Sam I don’t know how you do it. You are an inspiration to all. Brendon I wish you much success in your new found life on Afrezza. It truly is an amazing drug that gives you a chance to have a life. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t tell someone about Afrezza.

  • Reply Sheldon Cohen |

    Wonderful story, Sam. I feel great for Brendan and all the others who are using Afrezza. How was he able to obtain Afrezza in the UK? I am sure you were influential in assisting him. If it is too sensitive, I will understand.

  • Reply Ruth Evans |

    After being a type 1 for 40 years and spending over 25 on the pump, with highs and lows, I am going to training for Afrezza this Friday. I’ve read Afrezza blogs and watched the interviews with users, and it is so encouraging! At 61, I’m hoping this dog will learn some new tricks!

  • Reply Eugene W Guinn (Frumenti) |

    I have been on Afrezza about 9 months and I have Type 2 diabetes. I find that if I take Afrezza about
    30 minutes after eating I get the best match between meal delivered glucose and Afrezza delivered insulin to my bloodstream. I did not get any training or testing by my doctor. He prescribed Afrezza after I bugged him
    and United Health Care for a month or two. That is probably why he did not spend any effort to test my lungs
    or teach me how to use Afrezza. I have had great results. I had 3rd stage kidney failure on Metformin and
    after being on Afrezza my kidney labs are fine. I take no other diabetic drug. You are in a position to talk to MNKD and if the dosing instructions should be changed to 30 minutes after meals you could pass that on to MNKD. Also when I eat ice cream I get a glucose bump an hour later than other food.

    I think I heard or read Mr Mann say that when to take the drug in relation to meals was still being adjusted based patient experience. I think this could be an important issue with getting new patients to stay on Afrezza so I think it is important enough to talk to MNKD and you have the connections to do that. In advertising I think MNKD should emphasize that Afrezza is the only drug that is close to natural once it is in the blood stream. As everyone knows Natural is the big big deal today.
    Best regards, gene

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