Dame Dash was only 15 years old when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which is the same year he lost his mother to an asthma attack.

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He recalled when he began exhibiting the symptoms and thought he contracted HIV. “I started to lose weight. I lost my appetite, I started urinating a lot. I lost a lot of weight, I started feeling terrible,” he recalls in an exclusive interview with theGrio. “I thought I had HIV. This was back when Magic had first announced that he had it. I just got sexually active. I really thought I was going to die for a good month or so.”

The mogul was relieved to find out that it wasn’t HIV, but it was diabetes. “They told me I had diabetes, and that all I had to do was give myself a shot and I could be better. I celebrated and I’ve been celebrating ever since.” 


Dame looked at this moment as a second chance. “God was like, I’m gonna give you a second chance and just make it something you could deal with. I counted (it) more positive in my perspective than negative. Everything that I’ve done great I’ve done while I was diabetic.” 

The Roc-a-Fella co-founder stayed safe throughout the quarantine by keeping up with his diet and medication, but he plans to take the extra step and get vaccinated.

“You know, I don’t trust anything, but I will take that vaccine,” Dame Dash says. “I don’t want to be like, in the hospital saying, I should have took that vaccine. And a lot of people depend on me.”