Justice Sonia Sotomayor and living with diabetes

Catholic U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, offered a very personal story about living most of her life with diabetes, and offered one-of-a-kind encouragement to some 150 kids:

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was seven years old and living in the South Bronx when she found she was thirsty all the time. Soon after, she started wetting her bed at night.

"I was ashamed," the 56-year-old justice said, as she related how she came to learn that she has diabetes. The audience for the unusually personal glimpse at a justice's life was children who are diabetics, like Sotomayor. And the reason she met with them Tuesday in a Washington ballroom was to assure them that their common affliction is no bar to doing anything they want.

"It's a disease you have to deal with, but you can," she said, as she sat in an armchair with 150 children seated in a semicircle on the carpet in front of her."

Diabetes is known as "A disease so common that it strikes EVERY 20 seconds."

From the American Diabetes Association:

Americans earn a failing grade on diabetes awareness, based on survey results released today by the American Diabetes Association. In general, Americans earned a 51% when asked a series of questions about a disease so common that it strikes every 20 seconds. The survey results revealed that many diabetes myths and misconceptions still exist, while the disease’s prevalence continues to rise.

To combat this situation, this November during American Diabetes Month®, the American Diabetes Association is launching a new movement: Stop Diabetes(SM). Americans are encouraged to join the movement to Stop Diabetes and put an end to diabetes’ physical, emotional and economic toll on the U.S.

For the last 18 months, the American Diabetes Association has reached out to people in communities across the country to better understand Americans’ perceptions of diabetes.

“Many Americans have a very limited understanding of the basic facts about diabetes, as well as the serious consequences for health that accompany the disease,” commented Sue McLaughlin, RD, CDE, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. “Unfortunately, numerous myths about diabetes exist, making it difficult for people to believe the science-based facts, as fear inspiring as they may be. Denial of diabetes and the promotion of inaccurate information, full of stereotypes and stigma, do not serve anyone well. The Association’s Stop Diabetes campaign aims to put a halt to this lack of awareness and misinformation so we can change the direction of diabetes prevalence in this country.”

Go to the American Diabetes Association Web site and get educated about diabetes.

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