As some people know I work with teens on a weekly basis that live with type 1 diabetes. A group that I created last July to give back to the diabetes community. While, the group is small in size, it's large in discussion and passion. We have spent a great deal of time learning about one another as well as helping one another.
Recently one of the teens brought to my attention an act of discrimination. After practicing for months for a school play, she has been 'let go' due to her diabetes. Stating that her diabetes (going low) is an issue. I was instantly baffled and wondered a few things, how can a school discriminate in such an obvious manner and since when is diabetes a reason not to do something?
I instantly thought of the numerous diabetics that I know that have accomplished a ton of amazing things while living with diabetes. I know olympic athletes, dancers, backpackers and actors and not to mention, myself and many others who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. To say that a diabetic cannot participate in a school play is not only ignorant but ridiculous! What it says to me is that those that made the choice to terminate her position in the play have taken little to no time to understand her diabetes because if they had, I am sure they would reconsider.
This isn't 1910. We aren't suffering from our diabetes, we are thriving. Yes, we go low and yes we go high, but that doesn't mean that we are incapable of managing our diabetes. And what happened to helping out one another, if I happened to go low at a party, I would expect a friend to help. But that doesn't mean I am dependent. If you collapsed of heat exhaustion, I would help you out, I wouldn't tell you that you're too much to handle.
This isn't right. Students living with type 1 diabetes shouldn't be criticized, punished nor ignored because of their diabetes. Clearly someone needs to google type 1 diabetics to see just how successful, talented, and independent we are.
Get with the times!