Diabetes Health publisher Nadia Al-Samarrie spoke with television and movie actor Anthony Anderson, who has taken a lead role with Eli Lilly & Company's F.A.C.E. campaign, a diabetes outreach to African Americans. A veteran of more than 20 films, Anthony, age 41, currently plays Detective Kevin Bernard on NBC's Emmy Award-winning drama, "Law & Order."
Fear is a funny thing. In a controlled situation, say a movie theater or roller coaster, it can be exciting. It gets our blood pumping, gets our adrenaline racing. But in the real world, where anything can happen and safety isn't assured, fears can get out of hand.
The first thing I would have said to that frightened 18-year-old girl back in 1994 is, "It's not your fault." You didn't do anything wrong. You weren't out breaking mirrors, spitting on leprechauns, or walking under ladders. Your body simply turned on itself. Your immune system decided to attack the wrong guys and here we are.
Mike Fisher is a 23-year-old from Ontario, Canada, who's been snowboarding since he was 13 years old. At the age of 18, he was involved in a motorcycle crash that necessitated the amputation of one leg below the knee. He says, "At first, I felt that my life was coming to a crashing halt. But I just pushed myself to recover as fast as possible and get my life back on track, go to school, get back into snowboarding and motorcycles-just anything so that my life wasn't affected at all. I had a lot of support, and I would say that I was pretty optimistic about it and took it almost as a challenge. By the time that I was 19, I was happy. I was walking again, I was back in college in London, Ontario, and everything was good. The accident was a minor setback to me, and I rose above it. I was just continuing with my life."
Molly Martin is a vibrant and energetic 18-year-old from Texas who's had type 1 diabetes since the age of two. Five years ago, Molly took up motocross racing. She says, "I love riding motocross---it's just you and the bike. I feel free when I ride, like I don't have to think about diabetes. I do have to make sure that I test before I get on and during breaks, to make sure my sugar is doing what it's supposed to be doing. But when I get out there, it's just me and the bike, going."
It started at 7:45 a.m., when I heard my husband's phone alarming. Since it was his scheduled virtual type 1 for a day challenge with JDRF, I grabbed the phone as he kept snoring. Sure enough, it was his first text from JDRF, reminding him to gather his testing supplies before leaving the house. I shook his leg. "Wake up, sleepy, you have a text about your diabetes." He lay there, continuing to snooze. I tried again with "C'mon, you have to get up, your diabetes needs you!" He hollered between snores, "My diabetes is fine!" Oh, how I wish I could silence my diabetes in the morning with those words.
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