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I hate to admit it, but I have to agree. Although it was unclear whether Fran's words were taken out of context (as they often ARE in the press), I still think the media tends to gloss over the true seriousness of this condition, and as a result, the perception is that it can be ignored is widespread, particularly among lower income people.

As Deb Butterfield, whom you quoted in Chapter 3 of your book, once said:

"The chasm of silence and misinformation between the reality and perceptions of diabetes goes a long way to explaining why diabetes has not received its share of government research funding, nor the public outcry to find a cure. ... Now think for a moment what would happen if the campaign had announced, 'Diabetes disables and kills. Only a cure can stop the suffering,' with pictures of a little boy leading his blind mother around a grocery store and a voice-over explaining that diabetes is suffering. This campaign would create a fundamental shift in the way diabetes is perceived. The public would see diabetes as the enemy, as we see cancer and AIDS as enemies. They would worry that if it isn't cured, it could happen to them, or to their children. A 'Diabetes Disables and Kills' campaign could change the face of the disease by removing the smile that has so long been attached to it in product advertising and brochures in doctors' offices and pharmacies. Perhaps public outrage that there is no cure yet would create political pressure to increase funding for cure-focused diabetes research."

While I am sure there was no harm meant by what she said, and that there is no harm in things many people say about diabetes, the reality is that this is a serious disease, yet we'd never know that based on the amount of research funding it receives at the National Institutes of Health. On a per capita basis, type 1 has been able to secure separate funding due largely to JDRF's very vocal advocates, you would never realize that some 16-20 million Americans have type 2 based on research funding (outside of the pharmaceutical industry who is eagerly pursuing more profitable treatments)t.

Sometimes "shock" therapy is the only thing that will work to make people realize the seriousness of this disease.

Yes, living with diabetes has challenges, but many people face challenges that affect how they work but should not prevent them from being hired. In fact, I suspect much of the work force is made up of people whose life or health impacts their work.

I think it's arrogant of Fran to make such a statement in the context of whether or not people with diabetes are worthy/deserving/capable of employment. She did it (and still does it), and sure it can be tough, but a would she say, "If I'd known how tough it would be to balance work and diabetes, I would have just gone straight to collecting disability or unemployment, or I would have not tried to acheive such professional success." Let us prove that we can handle the challenges, just as she has. Let us make the decision, and try our best. Don't encourage employers to look at the fact that a person has diabetes and automatically assume that it's an insurmountable challenge.

Fran said,

"Knowing what it’s like to live with diabetes hour by hour, day by day, I wonder if I owned my own company if I would hire someone with diabetes."

How about...
"Knowing what it’s like to live as a single mother hour by hour, day by day, I wonder if I owned my own company if I would hire a single mother."


"Knowing what it’s like to take care of my aging parent hour by hour, day by day, I wonder if I owned my own company if I would hire someone who has their elder parent living with them."


"Knowing what it’s like to live in a wheelchair hour by hour, day by day, I wonder if I owned my own company if I would hire someone in a wheelchair."

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