Tom HanksDear Mr. Hanks,

Did you realize the other night when you told David Letterman on his late-night show that you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, that you also completely redefined yourself?

Before the show, the media would describe you as an Oscar winning actor with starring roles in the movies, on Broadway and television.

After your announcement – and forever more – you will be labeled as an Oscar winning actor who happens to be diabetic.

You’ll learn quickly, Tom, that no matter what your accomplishments, no matter what message you want to get across to your fans, the media will focus on your diagnosis like a laser beam. Reporters will use that awful word – diabetic – which lumps you into a category that incorrectly implies sickness and an uncertain future.

The millions of us with mobility disabilities know what it’s like to be defined by our physical conditions. In our ranks are the most talented, energetic, accomplished people on earth, but if a media outlet writes about any of us, the focus is on disability as if the reporter is blinded by it. Apparently nothing else we could possibly do is considered newsworthy. Inspi