Patients + Research: John Howse

Patients + Research is a platform for patients to discuss their relationship and experience with the research that leads to new cures, cares and treatments.

Patients + Research: John Howse

Meet John

A few years ago, John Howse was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. After hearing about a clinical trial at Mount Sinai Hospital for short-term insulin therapy, John decided to get involved in research.

John Howse has been a Firefighter for 31 years.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your health story?

I am a career Firefighter with 31 years of service.  I was recovering from an injury a few years ago.  At that time I was also diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  It was shortly after the diagnosis that I saw an interview on the evening news about a research study at Mount Sinai Hospital which intrigued me.  It was investigating the possibility of inducing a remission using insulin for 3-4 weeks at time – called short-term insulin therapy. Participating in the trial was the one thing I could do while recovering and I felt the need to contribute to answering just another question researchers were asking.

Does health research matter to you?

Absolutely.  It should matter to everyone.  Most people don’t think about it until it impacts them in some way.  I am no different.  I’ve donated both my time and money in the past when people I’m close to become ill. Suddenly illness has become my personal focus.

How does health research contribute to a healthier Ontario?

I believe that there is a better chance of encouraging participation in clinical trials if the research is done in our own backyard. Ontarians are rightly proud of medical breakthroughs and there is an opportunity to bring more awareness to the cause by celebrating our successes publicly.  I think that Ontario should lead whenever possible and reap the benefits of discoveries.

How can patients and families support, improve or empower health research?

Personal stories are always the most powerful.  The stories that impact me the most are from the people experiencing tragedy, losing hope, turning to some leading edge research or procedure and recovering.  Patients have the power to encourage researchers to carry on even in the face of failure.

Read more about John’s story on the Mount Sinai Hospital website.

Related Stories


Add your voice to the Patients + Research blog series. Email or call Elise Bradt at, 416-205-1469, or direct message or tweet at us on Twitter at @CAHOhospitals.

Read more Patients + Research posts and share your own insights on Twitter with the hashtag #onHWS. To learn more about how health research makes Ontario healthier, wealthier and smarter, visit our impact page, and check out our other blog posts and videos.