Sonia Sotomayor Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

Sonia was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age eight, and began taking daily insulin injections.

Her father died of heart problems at age 42, when she was nine years old. After this, she became fluent in English. Sotomayor has said that she was first inspired by the strong-willed Nancy Drew book character, and then after her diabetes diagnosis led doctors to suggest a different career from detective, she was inspired to go into a legal career and become a judge by watching the Perry Mason television series. She reflected in 1998: "I was going to college and I was going to become an attorney, and I knew that when I was ten. Ten. That's no jest."

At age 8, the president said, she learned that a diagnosis of diabetes meant that a career as a police officer or private investigator would fade.

“In essence, she was told she’d have to scale back her dreams,” Mr. Obama said. “Well, Sonia, what you’ve shown in your life is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like or what challenges life throws your way. No dream is beyond reach in the United States of America.”