My Story: 28-Year-Old Diagnosed With Prediabetes Discovers It’s Not About What You Look Like

Marrion Johnson Jr

Photo: Marrion Johnson, Jr.

It took reading an article about a young Black man diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and
learning about a relative’s type 2 diagnosis to send Marrion Johnson Jr. to the doctor’s office curious about his own blood-sugar levels.

Twenty-eight and fit, it didn’t fully dawn on Johnson that he could be at risk for diabetes himself. In fact, he exercises regularly and has a muscular frame to show for it. Isn’t that enough to keep diabetes away?

Not quite. After the doctor ran some tests, Johnson was diagnosed with prediabetes – which often leads to developing type 2 diabetes.

“[The doctor] said my blood sugar was higher than normal. It wasn’t anything wild but it was
noteworthy,” Johnson said, recalling his January 2017 doctor’s visit. Johnson’s experience is common–1 in 3 American adults has