When I first heard about Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor's appointment to the Supreme Court, I was thrilled to say the least. If anything at all, I was thankful that a Latina was speaking out about how her life would ultimately play a role in her decisions on the bench. Remember the chaos that surrounded that?
It wasn't to say that she was going to go against the law she had learned at Yale and practiced, but she was going to take into consideration that not everyone has a happy childhood, not everyone has advantages in life that others may have and therefore, their judgement and futures are not like everyone else's. In addition, not everyone saw the world as did the white men who ran the country, the laws and the decision making. I completely understood where she was coming from with that.
Then, I found out she has diabetes. And not Type 2 diabetes like everyone assumes that Latinos have now, but she has Type 1 diabetes like me. Funny, because a lot of members of the Diabetes Online Community, or the DOC, have Type 1 and online, I'm one of many. In the world, especially in the Latino community, I'm rare. People think they can fix me, I get judged for not taking care of myself, or people think that I'm amazing for taking care of myself, not realizing that I have to or else I could die within a week's time. Truth. I have no other choice.
And even more, I have Type 1B that makes me even MORE strange! See, first of all, there are about 27 million people in the U.S. with diabetes. Only five percent, about, has Type 1 diabetes, about 3 million. And I don't even know the rarity of Type 1B. All I know is that it's very common among people living in India and is caused by something environmental.
When I read a story in USA Today about how she had to take care of herself and how she speaks about the discipline that comes with having diabetes, I was so glad that someone was openly talking about it for our community of people with Type 1. I have met many people with stories like these; inspired by each one.
"[Diabetes] is really a fundamental part of me. It's part of my body; it's part of everything I do all day long."
No one I know will deny this statement as long as they are alive.
The struggles that she endured are not new, but they've been paid more attention because now, she's speaking from the top. We little guys still struggling to climb the ladder, whether we're Latinas or we have diabetes, are still facing a lot of what this woman has battled her entire life. From being asked if the only reason why she made it to Princeton was because she was Latina, to seeing people around her have things handed to them without the story of struggle after their great-grandfather's plowed the land they walked on, to eventually thinking that diabetes would be her handicap, I have my own version of all of those stories. But why listen to me? I'm just a blog writer.
I admire her. I want to be like that. I want to be able to make a difference, eventually tell my story and write a book that encompasses all of the different trailblazing efforts I've had to motivate myself through. And I want to tell it from the top. As a Latina, as someone living with Type 1B diabetes-- as me.