Dear President Trump: You. Diabetes Comments. Not good.

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To: President Donald Trump

From: “D-Mom” Moira, on behalf of all who live with diabetes

Re: “Her health. No good. Diabetes.”

 

According to multiple reliable news sources, you, while pondering how many Supreme Court Justice positions you will get to fill in your tenure, remarked that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s position would be one because, as you said, “Her health. No good. Diabetes.”  With all due respect to you, Mr. President, you are misinformed and speaking off antiquated – at best – information. How do I know? Allow me to introduce you to some amazing people, one of whom is my daughter.

Let’s start with her. Lauren is 26 and as of this very week has been living with Type 1 diabetes (just like Justice Sotomayor) since she was 6 years old. Lauren lives right around the corner from you in DC and you very well may have crossed paths with her. Usually she’s walking to her job helping shape policy for people with ALS – she likes to walk rather than take the Metro because she’s healthy and fit, and because she savors every day of her what-will-be-long life. Or, she might have ridden her bike past your office while doing long training rides for her annual one-day, 100-mile Ride to Cure Diabetes event. That’s right – she can ride her bike 100 miles in one day – and so can and do so many of her diabetes world friends.

You may have flown over GWU medical center the other day when she was there for her endocrinology check up; the day the doctor looked over her labs and said she has the labs of a “non diabetic person,” despite 20 years of living with the disease.

You may have been sitting on your couch in the White House while, down the road a bit, she was dancing at a night club and laughing with her huge circle of friends, living and loving life no differently than those without diabetes. She’s normal. Healthy, happy, and normal. And she will be for decades to come.

Thankfully, she lives in the 21st century, a time when women are treated as equals in every way. Okay, I’m kidding there. But it is a century when diabetes is no longer a death sentence and when, for those living in a strong first-world country with affordable and accessible health care (ahem), a person with diabetes will live the same average life span as their contemporaries without.

Sure, it’s extra work, but people like Justice Sotomayor and my daughter – and millions of others with diabetes from small children to – gasp! – senior citizens who have now had it for decades, do that work without letting it stop them from doing amazing things in the world – like serving as a Supreme Court Justice, or working as a young and rising policy professional in DC.

And consider this: your word choices matter.  What you said about Justice Sotomayor can—and probably will – impact how people perceive folks like my daughter for years to come. She already fights discrimination daily. (She’s not strong enough. Diabetes makes her weak. She might not be able to do the job someone without diabetes can do… All untrue).  Now, your comment, writ large, will bolster that ignorant and completely wrong assumption.

People with diabetes compete in the Olympics (the regular Olympics. I know what you thought for a second there). They are CEO’s of huge companies. They are – imagine this? – leaders of nations. They are collegiate swim champions. They are stay at home moms and dads. They are superheroes and yet they are everyday folks.

 I’m still hoping you just don’t know the diabetes of today. So here’s an offer: take a walk with Lauren. Get to know what she does and how well she does and why diabetes will not take her life early.

Maybe, just maybe: instead of bumming you out that Justice Sotomayor probably has decades more to live, it will instead open you up to a true understanding of how crucial good health insurance and medical care are, and how they’ve changed lives here in our great nation.

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stephen sam
stephen sam

Nice.

Cecilia
Cecilia

That isn’t what President Trump said…Everytime I go to read a article about Trump …it is taken out of context and assumption….He cares about all of us and is fighting to get us better healthcare….There isn’t any condition that he takes lightly…or anyone…There is value in all of us…I come from a family with 5 diabetic….including me for over 40 years….Read the article again that this came from…or not…I know that if we all do everything possible and together instead of against someone maybe we can make progress….

Lisa
Lisa

Very well said! Your daughter sounds like an amazing young woman in every way. T1D actually helps our kids learn discipline, responsibility and health from tender young ages, allowing them to grow up strong, resilient and powerful! Go Lauren!!!

nollyann Hesser
nollyann Hesser

Following the links provided only showed that the remark came from an unknown “source.” Who are the “multiple reliable news sources” the author relies on for information?
There are so many real things the author could be upset about, why try to stir up trouble from an unreliable “source”?

Rebecca
Rebecca

Love Love love this rebuttal. If only he’d actually do the work to understand.

Janis Reed
Janis Reed

So beautifully said! THANK YOU!!! – from Canada

Dar
Dar

Since he is probably informed by Dr’s and Government guidelines… don’t take it out on him. Be a part of progress and making sure people are properly informed instead of complaining about 1 itty-bitty comment. I hear false health crap on a daily basis on the news and and from so called ‘dieticians’. Instead of taking your time calling out the President, call out those that spread the bad info!! Spend your time addressing those in the medical field, government health agencies, media, etc…. would be time well spent! I’m a diabetic and his comment doesn’t bother me at all…… Read more »

Jamie
Jamie

This has nothing to do with Type one directly. It’s about the position the Justice’s are in to make health care decisions. Not just Trump. Goes way back to concerns from past POTUS as well.
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/234967-justices-health-struggles-may-influence-their-ruling

Eric
Eric

Hear, hear! :)

Lorri Schodzinski
Lorri Schodzinski

Oh how I agree! President Trump, I think you are misinformed of the strength & character it takes to carry Type 1 Disbetes! You see, it makes the carrier the person they become which is above average in many ways!! Have you ever met a person with T1D? My daughter is 21 & has had to deal with this chronic condition for 9 years. She graduated Cum Laude in TWO years from Ohio University with a Bachelor Degree in Poly Sci & minor in English! She’s a L1 law student at Capital University & has an amazing future ahead of… Read more »

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