When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, 21 years ago I was told things like, "There will be a cure in 5 years.", "You won't be able to fly a plane.", "You are going to go blind if you don't check your blood sugar." and "Don't tell people about it, they will treat you differently." Those comments were confusing and depressing.
Here's what I would have rather heard: "Lia, Type 1 diabetes will probably be part of your life forever, but if you accept it and work with it, rather than hating it and fighting against it, you can lead a happy, productive life. Yes, you will need to be organized, yes, your body will work differently, yes, there will be some things you either can't do or can only do with lots of training, but at the end of the day, your success is up to you."
And then the doctor would give me a list of Type 1 diabetics that refused to let their diagnosis stop them from achieving their dreams.
Kris Freeman, U.S. Olympic Cross Country Skier
Chris Dudley, XXX and current candidate for Governor in Oregon
Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Anne Rice, Author (Interview with a Vampire)
Scott Verplank, Professional Golfer
Nick Jonas, Musician, The Jonas Brothers
Ghostface Killah (Denis Coles) Musician, The Wu-Tang Clan
Adam Morrison, NBA basketball player
Jay Cutler, NFL football quarterback
Gary Hall, U.S. Olympic swimmer
Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999
Mary Tyler Moore
Elliot Yamin, Contestant on American Idol
Crystal Bowersox, Contestant on American Idol
Brandon Morrow - SP Toronto Blue Jays
David McGill - principle bassoonist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
That would have made the experience powerful and positive.