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[IP] Leave of Absence (Very Long)

    I'm just so angry about the diabetes right now that I'm crying.  It's not 
enough that I've had it for 43 years, that my daughter has had it since the 
age of 2 (she's 24) and that her 3-year-old son has already had it half his 
life.  Now her employer, Fed-Ex, has given her a leave of absence - not 
because her diabetes has caused a problem, but because it could.  
    It's a long story, but these are the basics:  She was hired as a package 
handler in Memphis.  She transferred to Dallas - same position.  She was 
offered a full-time position in Amherst, Mass. as a driver when she moved 
there recently with her significant other, then was told she couldn't drive 
because she has diabetes.  The regional person said she could only work as a 
handler - at much less pay and only half the hours (to satisfy ADA) or that 
she could go on unpaid leave of absence to look for another Fed-Ex unit (read 
    The positives:  Fantastic work ethic and attitude - documented in her 
work reviews from her superiors, no hypoglycemia unawareness, no 
diabetes-related incidents on the job, other than taking care of lows, no 
diabetes complications.  (She's not a pumper - yet - but is warming to the 
idea :)
    The negatives:  Work days missed due to lows. 
    She knows she could go the legal route, but right now she's just 
overwhelmed with the unfairness of having to not only fight the diabetes, but 
to fight for the right to do the job she was hired to do.  Her driving record 
is almost spotless (a couple of speeding tickets about five years ago).  She 
has written to the higher-ups in the company, including Fred Smith, asking 
for what she believes is fair.  It's not necessarily that she wants to drive, 
but that she be given a full-time job (as she was offered) at the rate of pay 
she was offered.  The thing is, she really, really wants to keep working for 
Fed-Ex (she's been there 1 1/2 years), not put herself in an adversarial 
position with them.  Everybody she works with loves working with her because 
of her can-do attitude.  In fact, her new manager was ready to quit before 
she came to work at his unit.  He even told her that the reason he stayed was 
because of her and the positive attitude about Fed-Ex that she brought to 
work.  She was raised with the belief that the diabetes doesn't have to keep 
you from doing anything you want to do.  Now she's questioning that.  
    Thanks for letting me vent.  If you have any words of encouragement or 
advice, I know she'd welcome them.  So would I. Her address is 
email @ redacted  Her name is Tess.
    Brenda Martinez
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