The enthusiasm of Ernesto Prado's dad for the space program rubbed off on him from an early age. Ernesto has been fascinated with air and space travel since he was young, when he began his dream of becoming an astronaut. Prado was featured in at least three diabetes publications and resources in 2016 because his story is so encouraging and inspiring. When he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a teenager, he was told to slow down his recreational activities and sports, so Ernesto focused on learning and preparing for work with NASA. Even though people with diabetes cannot fill the role of an astronaut, Ernesto prepared to work in a job that would be as close as possible to his original goal.
Turning Point to Health
Ernesto went to college at UC Davis, double-majoring in Aeronautical Sciences & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and he began working with NASA when he was 20 as part of a college co-op program. After graduation, and while working in the neutral buoyancy lab, Ernesto realized that he had lost focus on managing his diabetes and taking care of himself. This was a turning point when Ernesto came to understand that he needed to be healthy to do the things he was devoting his life to, and he reprioritized his health – eating 5 small meals a day, running, seeing a new, really good doctor, and beginning to use an insulin pump.
Catch More About Ernesto
Prado has continued employment and engagement with the NASA space program since. Recently featured on Stacey Simms’ Diabetes Connections podcast, you can hear the passion and excitement in Ernesto’s voice as he describes walking on the same ground as NASA astronauts. Ernesto is now a Technical Projects Manager at the Johnson Space Center in Texas.
Learn more about Ernesto Prado, and be wowed by his motivation, determination, dedication, and positivity:
- Read an interview and article from The DX/Diabetes Experience by Moira McCarthy.
- Listen to the Diabetes Connections podcast.
- Read a short bio about Ernesto on Beyond Type 1.
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