Raw Video: McGee Remembered For Helping Juvenile Diabetes
WAUWATOSA - Packers great Max McGee is remembered for fast moves on the field, a well-known broadcast voice, and, for many thousands of people in Wisconsin and around the world, his generous contribution toward finding a cure for juvenile diabetes.
The "Max McGee National Research Center for Juvenile Diabetes" opened at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in 1998 after McGee donated $1 million to help find a cure.
"He had a big impact on our center," said Center Director Soumitra Ghosh, "and we'll miss him. We'll miss him."
Raw Video: Interview With Dr. Ghosh
Ghosh said one of McGee's most inspiring ideas was to encourage scientists to go beyond finding defecting genes to work out a cure.
"My focus was trying to underlying structure of the disease and why it happens," Ghosh said. "That's the way I was trained. Do the genetics. Find the gene. But he said, 'Use the genetics. Get the cure.' Therefore, I try to strategize our research such that instead of just looking at which people have got which genes, we started thinking, well, what happens when they inherit these bad genes and they perhaps meet up with an environmental factor?"
One person touched by the diabetes research at Children's Hospital is Kelli Trester. She, then three years old, handed McGee a bouquet of flowers after his million dollar donation. She is hopeful researchers will someday find a cure.
"Anything's possible, if you think about it," Trester, now 12, said. "I think they might find a cure, maybe not in my time, but at least, if they were to find a cure, even after I was here, I would at least know that people wouldn't have to live through what I've lived through for, basically, all of my life."
Raw Video: Interview With Kelli Trester
"I think there would be a lot of prayers answered if it was cured," said Kelli's mother, Barb Trester.
Raw Video: Interview With Barb Trester
The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than 21 million Americans have diabetes.