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Re: [IP] Life's Fairness and Standing In Line

BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!! Well said and thank you. No matter how bad you might think
your own life is, someone else always has it worse. Let them have the
special privileges. I'm just happy to still be here and vertical.


M.L. Ehrlich
email @ redacted
----- Original Message -----
From: "Chance Fisher" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 5:29 PM
Subject: [IP] Life's Fairness and Standing In Line

> Dear List Members,
> I rarely pipe in with opinions on this list because we each have different
> views on such topics.  I read the debate about privileges, especially
> getting forwarded to the beginning of the line in certain situations.
> It is a shame that a lot of us as individuals with diabetes, feel that we
> have superior rights than any other person.  We do not.  We have the SAME
> rights as others....be glad and proud of this fact because many before us
> and still today have fought very hard for such rights.
> I was diagnosed in 1982 at the age of five. At that time they told my
> parents to "make the best" of it and that they "shouldn't expect a lot
> me because of the physical ramifications of the disease.
> When I registered for high school, I was told that the school district
> be happy to send a home tutor to my house so that I wouldn't become
> uncomfortable around the "regular" students in means of testing and being
> "attached" to a medical device.  I said NO, that I was as "regular" as the
> rest of the students.  Not only did I attend high school, I graduated in
> and a half years by proficiency out of several classes due to exceptional
> academic study. I was the valedictorian of my high school class.  After
> graduation, many people, including family members asked if I was going to
> just work "a little bit" or take full disability all together.  I said NO.
> I was granted three full scholarships and I was damn well going to use
>   I graduated three years later with high honors with TWO Bachelors
> degrees...one in Animal Science and another in Reproductive Biology from a
> excellent university.
> Two months after graduating, I packed my belongings and flew to Milan,
> to start as a freshman in the University of Milan School of Veterinary
> Medicine.  I graduated four years later with honors and also a Masters
> degree in Reproductive Endocrinology and Biotechnology.  I was again, at
> top of my class and presented with the privilege of speaking at our
> graduation ceremony.  Two days before the ceremony I fractured my
> bone in my right ankle (also known as Charcot Joint in people with
> diabetes).  I was due for surgery but begged the physicians to at least
> allow me to participate in graduation.  They agreed.
> Upon the line up for the ceremony, the dean of the Veterinary school
> and congratulated me for my accomplishments.  Not because I was a woman or
> an American, not because I have diabetes, not because I had some slight
> complications and not because I was color blind or had a current injury.
> escort for the ceremony stopped and asked if I wanted to be seated first
> the beginning of the ceremony.  I said NO, that I was privileged to stand
> the line with all the other soon to be veterinarians in alphabetical
> The dean turned around from a conversation he was having with the
> of the university and smiled.  He walked over and said "And still you
>   I had not the slightest as what he meant.  After I graduated I hobbled
> after the dean and asked him what he meant by his comment.  He said "Are
> familiar with Maya Angelou's poem 'Still I Rise'?  I nodded in agreement
> that I did.  He then said "As a student you were exceptional, but as an
> individual faced with challenges that some people would wither to, curl up
> and die in defeat, or take advantage of the disease and use it as an
> not to prevail, you rose above the disease and and demanded acceptance.
> as a person you are extraordinary."
> Today, I am a proud veterinarian that has a large animal practice
> specializing in Reproductive Medicine.  I also am an adjunct professor at
> veterinary school.  I am "lucky" to have been given the opportunity to
> smack dab in the middle of the line in many avenues of my life.
> I read the poem "Still I Rise" the other day and finally after a few years
> since my graduation, I understand what he meant.
> We as people with diabetes are NOT entitled to anything but what every
> individual in this country is entitled to.  Having diabetes is not an
> instant claim to privileges.  Each one of us should be proud and lucky to
> among the "regular" population, to be accepted in the work force, to be
> validated as worthy individuals who CAN have a family, who CAN hold down
> gainful avenues in life and who CAN hold their own and NOT let this damn
> disease characterize us as weak.  Be PROUD to stand in the line and NOT be
> treated as different and rushed to the front of the line.  Be PROUD to be
> treated as an individual, not a helpless person with diabetes that needs
> constant pampering.
> I have had diabetes for 22 years, pumping for 20 years.  I have had all
> ups and downs that anyone with diabetes has endured.  Testing, watching
> dietary intake, exercising and monitoring insulin does NOT afford you a
> lifetime pass.  For each one of us that thinks life has been unduly unfair
> to us, remember that life is NOT fair, every one has a burden to bear.  As
> my father used to say "No one dies a virgin....Life screws us all."
> Life is not fair to some extent to all of us.  But I am lucky and grateful
> that in life's unfairness, I can actually be treated as just another
> somebody.  Not special because I have a disease. I'm special because I
> an exceptional prowess at hockey and bocce ball.  Special because as a
> veterinarian I will go beyond the call of duty without taking expense and
> time in consideration when I care for someone's pet that may not have
> received that care due to the financial state of it's owner.  I am special
> because I feel loved.
> There are cases when individuals need to be taken to the front of the line
> or afforded certain accommodations, that we can not question this at all.
> But be glad that most of us as individuals with this disease can stand in
> line.  Remember those that cannot.
> So, as some of the people with diabetes may rush to the front of the line,
> will smile and say no thank you, I would like to stand here with the
> others...and Still I Will Rise.
> Chance
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