When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

17 May 2006

Sorry, you're not my type

It seems that Type I (juvenile) diabetics don't want to be associated with slovenly, undisciplined Type II (adult-onset) diabetics.

Because, you know, we have this tacky statistical tendency to be fat, poor, and old, and often belong to minority groups, and, you know, we brought this disease on ourselves with our sinful behavior anyway:

Most Type 1 diabetics develop the disease as children, without warning, on the basis of genetic factors. They are quite often thin. They come from all walks of life, neighborhoods and ethnicities.

Their chief advocates are parents of children with Type 1, a group that includes skilled, upper-income professionals devoted to finding a long-sought cure, which many think is approaching.

People with Type 2, on the other hand, are far more likely to be old and poor, overweight and not white, although this disease also stems, in part, from genetic factors. The risk increases with age. Because their disease is associated with eating and inactivity, they routinely encounter less sympathy. Often they are stigmatized as undisciplined.

As a group, Type 2 diabetics tend to be less organized and less forceful in advocating for themselves. They cannot argue as convincingly that more money might produce a medical cure anytime soon.

Yet the number of Type 2 diabetics is so large, and growing so rapidly, that Type 1 parents often say they fear that their children's plight is being lost in the din of the larger problem with the similar name. They often bristle when their children are mistaken for Type 2 diabetics, fearful that their children, and their own fund-raising efforts, are being muddied by the stigma that clings to the other disease.

Beyond 'I'm a Diabetic,' Little Common Ground - New York Times

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