Diabetes and the Workplace

Here’s where you can know your rights in the workplace. Even with diabetes, we may still have the need to be in the workforce, whether it’s for employer-based health insurance or because we just need the money. But did you know diabetes can be considered a disability?

A disability is defined as a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Diabetes is a disability because it substantially limits major life activities such as the functioning of the endocrine system.

What are my rights on the job?

As a person with a disability, you are protected from discrimination because of your diabetes. You will be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law that prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.

  • An employer cannot fail to hire or promote you because of your diabetes.
  • They cannot terminate you because of your diabetes (unless you pose a safety hazard).
  • They must provide you reasonable accommodations that help you perform the essential functions of your job.
  • They must not discriminate with regard to employer-provided health insurance.

You also have the right to medical leave to care for your diabetes. The Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of leave per year. This can be used for short term problems caused by managing your blood glucose levels or doctor appointments.

What are some accommodations I can request?

Remember these accommodations must be reasonable and not hinder the job description you were hired for. They may include, but are not limited to:

  • A private area to test your blood glucose levels or to administer insulin injections.
  • A place to rest until your blood glucose levels become normal.
  • Breaks to eat or drink, take medication, or test blood glucose levels.
  • Leave for treatment, recuperation, or training on managing diabetes (like diabetes education courses).
  • A modified work schedule or shift change.

To request an accommodation there is no magic words for it. Simply go to your employer and tell them what adjustments or changes are needed. This can also be done by someone else on your behalf, like your healthcare professionals.

What can employers do to help?

Employers can educate themselves on how to keep their employees healthy and maintain productivity. There are programs that can be provided through the employer-based health insurance too. They’re called the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) for people at risk of type 2 diabetes and Diabetes Self-Management, Education, and Support (DSMES) services for people diagnosed with diabetes.

The CDC has resources for employers to maintain healthy employees.

Please Note: These resources are for those living in the United States. I’m personally not too familiar with international resources but, hopefully, it shouldn’t be too hard to find. Look up the disability protection laws in your own country to see what protections may exist for you. Good luck!


American Diabetes Association

Donating to Diabetes Research

Diabetes research is an ongoing promise by multiple organizations to help bring an end to diabetes. Below I will go over some of those organizations, including the ones I will be directly donating to this month and I will provide links for you to check them out for yourself.

American Diabetes Association

ADA is a non-profit organization with a network of more than 565,000 volunteers, a membership of more than 540,000 people with diabetes, their families and caregivers, a professional society of nearly 20,000 health care professionals and more than 250 staff members.

They have various ways you can get involved, donate, or even give back. If you can’t afford to donate to ADA, you can check out this link for an alternative way of giving back. One of the cool ones I saw was SurveyMonkey. Every survey you complete, SurveyMonkey will give $0.50 to ADA. That’s really cool.

If you want to donate to ADA, there is a general link for donations. The money donated goes towards everything the ADA needs to keep their mission going, including community outreach and education.

If you want to donate directly to diabetes research, the ADA Research Foundations takes donations directly at this link. Donations made to the American Diabetes Association Research Foundation are 100% restricted to Association-funded diabetes research projects. The Research Foundation provided critical funding to support innovative scientific discovery that will translate to better treatments, healthier lives, and eventual cures.

Your support is more important than ever, because far too many of those who live with this disease can’t afford the care they need to manage it. I highly encourage you take a look and explore their website. They also have a link to a petition you can sign today that advocates for affordable insulin. If you or a loved one has to buy insulin just to survive, sign this petition so everyone who needs insulin to survive can get access to it at an affordable price!


Promotions That Give Back
Donate to ADA
Donate to Diabetes Research
Sign Petition to Make Insulin Affordable

Cures Within Reach

Cures Within Reach is a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization. They fund disease research and repurposing research. Cures Within Reach helps to improve patient quality and length of life by leveraging the speed, safety, and cost-effectiveness of medical repurposing research, driving more treatments to more patients more quickly.

They have researched 49 diseases, funded 85 repurposing projects, funded 51 institutions, and improved 13 diseases.

Repurposing research investigates whether a drug, device, diagnostic, nutritional product, or other therapy approved for human use in one disease or condition can be used to create a medical solution in a different disease or condition (source).

Cures Within Reach is committed to alleviating suffering and bringing hope to those dealing with life-threatening illness, challenging research institutions to support alternative approaches for research and funding that may lead to medical breakthroughs, inspiring and funding researchers with innovative ideas that might otherwise remain unexplored, and honoring a donor’s unique motivation to have an impact on the pursuit of treatments and cures.

Currently, they have 24 active research projects and only two are related to diabetes: Repurposing a Vaccine for Type 1 Diabetes and Treating Cataracts in Diabetic Patients Using a Surgical Device. You can click the links to check out those research projects and learn more.

Donations made to Cures Within Reach goes towards funding their research projects in various diseases, not just diabetes. Unfortunately, you can’t choose which project you want to donate to, but you can be assured that your donation will go into the research of many great projects that could help with treatment of multiple diseases.

If you can’t donate right now, you could consider volunteering your time. You could blog or help raise awareness on social media, highlight videos of their events, or help with patient education events. To get started, you can email them at info@cureswithinreach.org.


Repurpose Vaccine for T1 Diabetes
Treating Cataracts in Diabetes
Donate to Research
Current Research Projects

American Society of Nephrology

ASN is a non-profit tax-exempt organization that represents more than 21,000 kidney health professionals working to help people with kidney diseases and their families. Their goal is a world without kidney diseases. Their vision is to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. About 1 in 3 adults with diabetes has kidney disease. The main job of the kidneys is to filter waste and extra water out of your blood to make urine. Your kidneys also help control blood pressure and make hormones that your body needs to stay healthy.

I have added ASN to my list of non-profits to support in case you or someone you know has kidney disease caused by diabetes. I know that it would be beneficial to target the diabetes first, but if you suffer from kidney disease, there may be some way to treat it provided by ASN.

Donations to ASN will fund research that will improve treatments and find cures for the millions of patients impacted by kidney diseases.


Donate to Kidney Research

Good Sports

Good Sports is dedicated to creating opportunities in sports and physical activity for kids through donations of brand new sports equipment, apparel, and footwear. Their goal is to help youth-serving programs by increasing the total amount of youth participants, enhance the experience for all young people involved, and create new opportunities for the kids they serve.

Many children in low income families are not able to be involved in sports or physical activity simply because they cannot afford it. What Good Sports does is help level the playing field and make sure all kids have the equipment to participate and funds to travel with their teams if they need.

There are several ways to donate to Good Sports. You can donate a monetary contribution once. You can become a Goal Maker and donate every month. You can also Equip-A-Kid, which is a program they have where you can purchase one or more pieces of equipment in a sport to donate to a child. You can also fully equip a child or a whole team in softball, baseball, football, volleyball, soccer, general fitness, tennis, and basketball, however much you can afford. Please note, that monetary donations to Good Sports go through PayPal, though a PayPal account is not required.

If we can get our children more active throughout their childhood, they can continue to be physically active in adulthood and that could help prevent them from getting diabetes and other health ailments later in life. Remember, obesity affects not just adults but our children too.


Donate to Help a Child
Become a Goal Maker

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

DRIF is a not-for-profit corporation with a sole focus to find a cure for diabetes. They are so serious about this goal that they want to put themselves out of business by curing diabetes.

DRIF provides funding to Diabetes Research Institute scientists to begin work on promising ideas and provide funding throughout the research process all the way to the end. When donating to DRIF and their diabetes research, your donation gives their scientists the funding they need to achieve their goal of finding the cure for diabetes.

They provide support for parents, provide tips and resources for managing diabetes, as well as provide diabetes management classes at their clinic in Florida, though with COVID-19 I’m not sure if they are still holding classes but feel free to check if you’re in Florida. You can see where they are with their research, but with COVID-19 they haven’t posted any updates for 2020 as of the posting of this blog post. There are also other ways to help besides directly donating to DRIF, like purchasing a shirt from Keep Calm or going through their Amazon Smile link when purchasing off of Amazon, a portion of the proceeds go to DRIF. I highly encourage you check out their website especially the management tips and resources.


Donate to Find a Cure
Support for Parents
Managing Diabetes
Diabetes Classes

I sincerely hope you look into these organizations and maybe find some interest in supporting one of them. Otherwise, for November 2020, I am going to donate to the first four organizations during the month and I hope to start another collection of products in my shop that will be specifically for donating to organizations like these. I’ll let you know when that happens but for now, please consider supporting my blog AND these organizations by heading over to my Etsy shop and purchasing a sticker or two. I will be donating 10% of proceeds to one organization each week.

World Diabetes Day

Happy World Diabetes Day, fellow diabetics! It’s not something really to celebrate but during Diabetes Awareness Month, it helps bring awareness of this disease worldwide every year.

What is World Diabetes Day?

It was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the threat posed by diabetes. In 2006, World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day. It is marked every year on November 14th, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin alongside Charles Best in 1922.

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is The Nurse and Diabetes.

How ‘worldwide’ is World Diabetes Day?

It is the largest diabetes awareness campaign in the world reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. That’s astounding!

How can I recognize World Diabetes Day campaigns in my area?

Look for the blue circle logo. This logo was adopted by the campaign in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.

For more information about World Diabetes Day 2020, you can download this .PDF:

I encourage you to find out more about World Diabetes Day and make every day in your community a day of awareness about diabetes. The International Diabetes Federation has many resources and information about diabetes whether you’re here in America or around the world. Don’t let diabetes become bigger than it’s already gotten, once we’re aware of the dangers and the ways we can prevent it, we win. Be safe out there and tell a nurse how much you appreciate them.

Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and it is very important. Diabetes affects so much more people today than a century ago. As obesity affects more and more people each year, diabetes diagnoses are on the rise. I really hope that the information I share on my blog can help you better understand diabetes as well as inform you of some early signs of diabetes. The earlier your doctor can find your diabetes, the better your chances are of controlling and possibly reversing your diabetes.

This month, I want to help in the diabetes research advances and donate to their efforts.

11/8-11/14: American Diabetes Association
11/15-11/21: Cures Within Reach
11/22-11/28: American Society of Nephrology
11/29-12/5: Good Sports

I have launched my Etsy shop and I will be selling my stickers there. 10% of profits from each order will be donated to each organization at the end of each week. The minimum will be $20 whether I sell stickers or not that will come out of my own pocket but I do encourage you to check out my stickers and maybe make a purchase to help donate OR you can go to each organization and donate for yourself!

Also, November 14th is World Diabetes Day so stay tuned for more about that!

This month, we are wearing blue on Fridays in solidarity with diabetics around the world. I will publish another article about the significance of blue with diabetes. Until then, I encourage you to search on your own what diabetes awareness means to you and hopefully one day we can help bring a cure for diabetics everywhere.

Remembering My Dad

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I know all you dads think you’re the best and your family loves you, and you are absolutely right. Your family loves you, even if they never tell you, they really do love you.

I once heard something from somewhere a long while ago and I can’t even remember where I heard it from, but it’s stuck with me ever since.

“Anyone can be a father, but only a real man can be a dad.”

In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to remember my dad. This is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever made. I started crying uncontrollably when I first started.

Brandon L. T. Baysa was born in Hilo, HI on February 21, 1971 to Benjamin and Lorna Baysa. He was the third of four children and the only boy. He attended the schools in the Waiākea district. He attended one semester in college before giving that up and going in to the workforce. At the age of 18, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

He was a very hands-on person and liked to fix up cars and build things. As far back as I can remember, he would have fixer-upper cars and every weekend or so he would go out in the garage or on the driveway and fix whatever car or truck we had. He had model cars and airplanes that he built from kits and kept them in plastic cases to display on the shelves. We still have some of them.

He loved helping people and made friends fairly easily. He was always going some place to help someone with something. And all the while he would talk everyone’s ears off. He was the podagee of the family and I know I definitely take after that.

A podagee is someone who likes to talk and talk and talk and talk. They have said goodbye to you at least five times in the last two hours and still haven’t left yet. Most of the time it’s meaningful conversation and as they’re just about to finish they remembered something else they wanted to ask you or tell you about and it was definitely because they thought of you not because they like the sound of their own voice. They have two-sided dialogs, not one-sided monologues.

Anyway, he loved my sisters and I. Whatever new thing we were interested in, he would indulge us in it. I wanted to join karate, he made my tonfa when I advanced in the class. I wanted to join soccer, he made sure I went to every practice, he came to every game. He had my sisters join too and he coached them for a few seasons. I wanted to take aikido lessons and when I advanced to the adult class he made my jo staff, wooden tanto, and bokken and he even sewed the bag to put them in.

I was surprised my dad could sew. I found out that for his wedding, he made the sashes he and his best man wore and he helped clean my mom’s veil (she had used her mother’s wedding dress and veil for her wedding).

He was a huuuuuuuge geek. His interests included but were certainly not limited to: Star Wars, Star Trek, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, X Men, and Legos. He loved ninjas, survival gear, hunting and fishing, camping, guns, and pretty much anything outdoors. He even had a couple ghillie suits.

I remember one Halloween, he dressed in his ghillie suit and sat next to a table with a bowl of candy on the driveway and sat really still. When a kid came up very warily because they didn’t know what was on the chair, he’d jump at them and scare the crud out of them. He had to try and convince them to come back and grab some candy.

Later in life, I noticed dad was having complications with diabetes. His legs and feet were swelling and he lost feeling in his feet. He had sores on his body that took forever to heal and he would just randomly bleed. At one point he had to use a walker to get around and then he had to use a scooter. But then it started looking up, he was walking more and he didn’t need his scooter.

One thing I remembered was his insulin injection scars. He would inject into the same two locations on his abdomen every time and it became discolored. I don’t remember how often he took his insulin. I don’t think I ever heard him in pain when he injected either.

In 2014, he looked like he was getting better. He had lost weight and was moving around more and there was hope. But on May 20th, my parent’s 20th wedding anniversary, he came home from dialysis early complaining of a massive headache. I should have taken him to the hospital but instead I took him home. My mom came home from work that night and wanted to spend time with dad but he had fallen asleep. The next morning, May 21st, we were startled awake by my grandma. The world never stopped turning.

My greatest regret was not caring enough. It’s not like the internet wasn’t available at the time, so I could have educated myself, I just didn’t care enough. I was young and carefree. I thought dad was going to be around forever. I thought my dad was going to walk my sisters and I down the aisle. I thought dad was going to become a grandpa. I thought I had time. I never told my dad how much I loved him.

My dad is the reason why I do what I do. Everything I’ve done, I think, has led me to this blog, led me to help people with diabetes. I went to college and got my degree in History, my research skills are on point. After college, I worked at a credit union because I wanted to work with people. I left because I realized I wanted to help people not just work with them. I thought I wanted to help people with their finances, but I really wanted to use my degree. So I became a tour guide to teach people about the history and culture of my island. Then in October 2019, I had a spark. My diabetes was out of control.

I had my first appointment with an endocrinologist because my A1C was 9. He prescribed once a week Ozempic, but I couldn’t afford it. Then in January 2020, he prescribed me insulin. It hit, my diabetes was bad. My A1C was 11 and now I had to take insulin. I was going to end up like my dad. I didn’t want to so I decided to take my diabetes and get serious I should have done that from the start. I started this blog to become more accountable to myself and manage my diabetes better.

It’s because of my dad that I am here. I saw what this disease can do to you when you don’t properly manage it. I saw it take away someone I loved and it doesn’t discriminate who it takes. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, poorly controlled diabetes will take them away from you.

I hope that the information I share on my blog helps to educate those with diabetes and those with diabetic loved ones alike so you never have to go through this. You can see the signs and take the necessary steps to manage it for yourself or help someone manage their diabetes so they never have to go through this alone. Please take this time to hug your children, call your parents, tell them you love them. Tell them you’re here for them.

Happy Father’s Day, dad. I hope I’ve made you proud.