My Generation

Amy Zazon

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My life has been nothing short of interesting ever since my diabetic brother, Joseph Zazon, was born in 2013. Five months after, he was diagnosed as a diabetic. We then discovered this was because of a genetic abnormality that I also had. Ever since, I have felt uncomfortable sharing my genetic abnormality with anyone, even close friends. How could I feel comfortable when explaining how I was different from people who could never understand? Social media targeted people like me and Joey; we’re the type of kids who sad articles are written about. They write that we’re the sad victims to our genetics. Except, we’re not victims. Even though Joey can’t eat buckets full of candy like other kids in his class, he’s extremely independent. Without our help, he taught himself to explore and never fear anything. Teenagers and even younger kids in high school are afraid of shots and needles, yet Joey and I hardly blink when we’re faced with them weekly. He doesn’t stop before touching a scary-looking cat, or hiding inside of an eerie shark statue, and constantly finds new ways to prove how brave he is. Joey often brags to his friends at school about his cool pump and his pump bag which contain a glucose monitor and candy. Even so, it’s hard for society to accept things they don’t understand. He often isn’t invited to his classmate’s birthday parties because most adults don’t know how to handle his diabetes. Social media has influenced society, ruling that those with medical issues are at a disadvantage and are different from other typical kids. If there’s anything my younger brother has taught me, it’s that social media is wrong. Because of our medical struggles, we’re stronger. We’ve learned to become independent, to explore to our heart’s content, and to never let anything stop us. We’ve been misunderstood as weak and fragile, but in reality, we’re strong.