anderson.m Wisconsin

Restrictions on diabetics

There are many people who aren't allowed to join or fight for the armed forces or become a commercial pilot or even work as a EMS, or other emergency services.Diabetics even have to get a special permit to drive. I am one of these people, because I have type one diabetes. This needs to be changed. #thisneedstobechanged

   Dear Next President,

 I am writing this letter to address the issue of restrictions of diabetics. Some of these restrictions can be hurting the economy more than helping it. And its not fair for the diabetics either. 

 First of all, we are running out of people to do jobs. In an article from CNN, it is stated that we are in a 27 year low of air traffic controllers and it is continuing to decline. According to a Business insider article, 1/3 of the current air traffic controllers are eligible to retire since the required retirement age is 56 years old. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) also will not accept except anyone over the age of 31. With this shortage don't you think the FAA would except diabetics, if it would help with the lack of air traffic controllers. What about when that 1/3 staff reaches the required retirement age? Who will fill in for them? Diabetics could, but we are not allowed to be air traffic controllers.

     Second, we could be hiring diabetics to fill important positions. In an article from ABC, it is said that there is a 90% decrease in applicants for police positions. In the city of Seattle, Washington, they used to have 3,000 applicants for 10 positions, but now they only have 1,000 applicants for 70 positions. The shortage is nationwide. Is the government really trying as hard as they can to get recruits? No, they could hire diabetics. We could help fill the gap, But diabetics aren't allowed to be police officers.

     Both of these jobs have a serious lack of employees, maybe that's because they have the most restrictions. Both of these jobs are needed to help keep the nation together. According to JDRF (juvenile diabetes research foundation) there is an estimated three million type one diabetics in the United States. That is three million potential jobs filled. The reason these jobs don't allow insulin-dependent diabetics is because people assume that if a diabetic has sudden hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, that it could cause an accident. Are they saying that diabetics can't take care of themselves? If taken care of correctly, a diabetic will not experience a low or high glucose reading. And sudden low or high glucose doesn't just happen. Each diabetic experiences there own warning symptoms of a high or low. Maybe the diabetic is driving and can feel a headache coming on, so they pull over and has a slight low blood sugar. The diabetic can treat themselves and be back on the road within five minutes. And each glucose reading affects each diabetic differently. For example, one diabetic might become ill at a reading of 234, while I feel just fine and perform exactly the same at 234 as 100. 

      Third, the inability of being able to be in these careers has crushed dreams. Growing up, my dad was an airline pilot. I always wanted to follow in his footsteps, but when I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 6, that could no longer be my dream job. Since then I have wanted to fight in the Air force and  be an air traffic controller, but I can't be either of those either. I am about ready to start drivers ed as well, just to find out that, in my state, I have to get a special certificate to prove I am able to drive, since I have diabetes. 

      Fourth, the restrictions in schools will leave a bad memory in a child's mind. When I was little and I would go in a field trip, there always had to be the school nurse with me, I always had to test my blood sugar in the nurse's office, If I ever when low the nurse would have to walk me around the school, and they treated me differently than the other kids in elementary school. That made me feel like I sticked out. Since then middle and high school let me have all the freedom I want. But to this day I hate my elementary school, because of the restrictions they put on me.

     The point of this letter was to show that sometimes restrictions do more harm than good. We didn't choose to have diabetes, it will ever be easy for us. Don't you think you could make our lives better by letting us do what we want and be who we are? Our lives are still hard, but they would be easier if we had less restrictions.


Sources Cited:

Isidore, Chris."Air Traffic Controller Shortage Could Mean More Flight Delays", CNN Money. Cable News            Network,, June 15,2016.

Lowy, Joan. "Busy Air Traffic Control Facilities Lack Enough Controllers", Business Insider Inc,                         2015-12, December 8, 2015.

Yates Libyaw, Oliver. "Police Face Severe Shortage of Recruits", ABC News   Network,    , July 10.

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