Health advocacy groups applaud US President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court. You see, the 54-year old judge has Type 1 diabetes since the age of 8. Type 1 diabetes is an incurable but manageable condition.
According to the American Diabetes Association:
To survive, people with Type 1 diabetes must inject themselves with insulin numerous times a day, or use a pump that infuses it. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar, converting it to energy. With Type 1 diabetes – once called juvenile diabetes because it usually is diagnosed in children or young adults – the body mistakenly attacks and destroys the pancreas cells that produce insulin.
Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes have twice the mortality risk than those without diabetes. While type 2 is usually associated with obesity, type 1 cases are usually due to genetics.
The fact that Sotomayor has this condition led to speculations, especially in the media that she is not up to the demanding job of being a supreme court judge. However, the White House has talked with the candidate and her doctors and came to the conclusion that Judge Sotomayor is in good health and has her condition under control. Rightly so. After all, she has had it under control for 44 years now, made it through college and built up an exemplary career in law. If elected, the New York-born Puerto Rican will be the first Latina to be a US Supreme Court Justice.
According to Dr. R. Paul Robertson of the American Diabetes Association.
“The advancements in the management of Type 1 diabetes have been just amazing over the last two decades and the ability of people to manage their diabetes successfully has been proven. People with diabetes can function and live a long and healthy life.”
In relation to diabetes and career, people with diabetes won a major victory with the Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of September 2008. Under the ADAAA,
“people with diabetes will no longer face a Catch 22 in which they can be denied a job explicitly because of their diabetes – but then told they don’t have the right to fight this discrimination in court because they take such good care of themselves that they don’t have a “disability” as defined by federal law.” People with diabetes as well as those with other chronic conditions now fall under the protection of this new law. And the achievements of Sonia Sotomayor just goes to prove that given the chance and if not discriminated upon, people with diabetes can excel in whatever job they may be in.