There have been quite a few celebrity diabetics in the news lately. The stories usually mention that they have diabetes and my usual response to that portion of the story is “so what?”. I wouldn’t vote for a someone simply because of their race, party affiliation, hometown or military record, so why should I vote for a person simply because they are diabetic?
Somehow, that thought makes me feel like we, as diabetics, require some type “bonus”, like being spotted three strokes in a round of golf. I just resent that whole concept. I am not talking about things like the American with Disabilities Act or reasonable accommodations at your workplace or school, I’m talking about the stories that make it seem so “incredible” that these people could be so successful and have diabetes. Those stories make it seem totally unheard of that a diabetic can achieve things. Not to mention how so many folks seemed to just go gaga over them simply because of their diabetes.
For example, when Bowersox and Michaels were recently in the hospital, there was a large outpouring of support from the diabetes community. There’s nothing wrong with wishing people well, but would it have crossed any one’s mind if they weren’t diabetic? Would the “Let’s Root For…” posts have occurred?
And do I believe that they should take on some kind of advocacy role simply because they are diabetic? Absolutely not, that is a personal decision and one we should not try to force or “guilt” them into.
The thought that keeps crossing my mind is that they are bringing additional attention to diabetes, which is OK, I guess, though I feel a bit like we are “using” their condition for our purposes.
And that just bothers me at a very fundamental level.
Today’s snarky comment: If you are going to post something that may piss people off, the Friday before a holiday weekend is the perfect time to do it.