Speaking to dozens of children at an event hosted by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Children’s Congress, Sotomayor said she has learned to live with the disease, which causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin.
“It’s a disease you have to deal with, but you can,” Sotomayor told the children according to the Associated Press. The Supreme Court associate justice’s condition has long been known, but last week marked the first time she discussed it so openly.
Sotomayor talked about her experiences – from being diagnosed at age 7, to learning just the right amount of insulin she needed for whatever foods she ate, to dealing with insulin injections and ultimately the use of an insulin pump. One thing that living with the disease taught her, she said, is the discipline that in turn helped her excel as a student.
“Figuring out how I felt all the time,” she said. “All of that taught me discipline.”