Famous people with diabetes

10 Celebrities with Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin resistance

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, of which 90–95 percent have type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes usually develops in people over the age of 45, though there has been an increase in recent years of the disease developing in children, teens, and young adults.

Although type 2 diabetes comes with serious health risks, it’s often highly manageable through diet, medications, healthy lifestyle habits, and strong friends and family support systems.

Here is a list of 10 celebrities with type 2 diabetes who continue to live or have lived exciting, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

1. Larry King

American television and radio host Larry King was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1995, eight years after surviving bypass surgery from a heart attack. Since his diagnosis, he’s lost considerable weight, quit smoking, and developed an all-around healthier lifestyle.

“Good food, exercise, and meds,” he told Health Monitor in 2013. “Three rules, and none of them are hard.”

His three rules involve eating what you love, keeping exercise fun, such as dancing, and being an exemplary patient.

“Once you have diabetes, knowledge is a great protector,” he added. “Good information is readily available. Take advantage of that. The more you know, the better off you are.”

2. Halle Berry

Type 2 diabetes can take years to develop before showing any serious symptoms. In 1989, after feeling fatigued, this Academy Award–winning American actress passed out while working on the TV show “Living Dolls” and didn’t wake up for seven days. She was then diagnosed with type 2 diabetes due to a genetic predisposition.

As soon as she returned from the hospital, Berry dramatically changed her diet to one that includes fresh vegetables, chicken, fish, and pasta, and omits red meat and most fruit. She also hired a personal trainer and practices yoga to keep active to maintain healthy blood and insulin levels.

“Diabetes turned out to be a gift,” she told The Daily Mail in 2005. “It gave me strength and toughness because I had to face reality, no matter how uncomfortable or painful it was.”

3. Randy Jackson

This musician, producer, and judge on “American Idol” was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in his mid-40s, which came to him as a total surprise.

“When I found out that I had type 2 diabetes, I was like, ‘Wow,’ I have a serious disease. It not only had a physical, but also an emotional impact on me,” Jackson told NIH Medicine Plus in 2008. “It was hard to change my eating habits because food for me is emotional — I often found comfort in eating food that happened to be unhealthy.”

Jackson and his doctor developed a plan involving a special diet and exercise regimen that would control his blood sugar levels, in addition to gastric bypass surgery in 2004, which helped him lose over 100 pounds.

Today, he believes that he is living proof that type 2 diabetes can be managed, and that taking charge of his health has made him a stronger, happier person.

4. Tom Hanks

Academy Award–winning actor Tom Hanks first revealed his diagnosis on “The Late Show” with David Letterman in 2013:

“I went to the doctor, and he said, ‘You know those high blood sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36? Well, you’ve graduated! You’ve got type 2 diabetes, young man.”

Hanks went on to joke about how he first thought removing the buns off of his cheeseburgers would be a solution, but quickly realized it would take more work than that.

5. Sherri Shephard

Comedian and co-host on ABC’s “The View,” Shephard was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2007, years after continuing to ignore her doctor’s warnings that she had prediabetes.

At first, she took three different medications to control her diabetes, but after controlling her diet, losing weight, and creating a regular exercise regimen, she was able to control her blood sugar naturally, without medication.

When asked by U.S. News how she squeezed exercise into her daily routine, Shephard responded:

“I have to make my house a mini gym. If I’m doing laundry, I do lunges to the laundry room, and if my husband is cooking and I’m just sitting in the kitchen talking, I do push-ups against the counter top. When we go to the park with my son, we do side shuffles, lunges, and races, and we climb up the monkey bars. If you look at him, he looks like he’s having fun — and mommy looks like she’s about to pass out.”

Shephard even went on to write a book about living with diabetes, called “Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even if You Don’t Have It).”

“My book is fun because I like to laugh. I don’t like a lot of medical jargon. You can laugh at my journey and all the crazy things I do, like going in the garbage and eating food — and I’ve done that. After I’ve thrown coffee grinds it, and at 2 a.m., when that Oreo cookie is calling my name. It’s OK. You’ve got to be forgiving. Don’t be paralyzed, and you can live an amazing life.”

6. Patti LaBelle

This two-time Grammy-winning American singer, actress, and author first became aware of her type 2 diabetes after passing out on stage during a performance. Although her mother, grandmother, and aunt all died from type 2 diabetes, LaBelle hadn’t experienced any previous symptoms, so she’d continued to eat unhealthily for most of her life.

It took a lot of hard work, but she’s managed to adopt healthy eating and daily exercise habits, going so far as to write her own cookbook, “Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine,” and is also now a spokesperson for both the American Diabetes Association and Glucerna’s Diabetes Freedom Campaign.

“Before, my body was just a body,” she told Diabetic Living. I was always worried about my hair, my makeup, and my clothes. If you have all that going for you and the inside is breaking down, what good is that? Today, my body means the world to me — those other things are secondary. The most important thing now is my body on the inside, not the outside. My body is a temple, not an amusement park!”

7. Drew Carey

In less than a year after his diagnosis, American television actor and host best known for “The Drew Carey Show” and “The Price is Right” lost 80 pounds and cured himself of all diabetes symptoms, he told People magazine in 2010. The secret? No carbs.

“I have cheated a couple times,” he said. “But basically no carbs, not even a cracker. No bread at all. No pizza, nothing. No corn, no beans, no starches of any kind. Egg whites in the morning or like, Greek yogurt, cut some fruit.”

Moreover, Carey doesn’t drink any liquids besides water. He also performs at least 45 minutes of a cardio workout multiple times a week.

According to Carey, his drastic lifestyle changes put him into complete remission, and he no longer needs any medication.

8. David Wells

Announcing his diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in 2007, this American former Major League Baseball pitcher, known for pitching the 15th perfect game in baseball history, immediately changed his diet and lifestyle.

“From the time I found out, I made changes. No more starches and sugar. No more rice, pasta, potatoes, and white bread. No more fast food. I’ve cut out alcohol,” he told ABC News.

Although he still has an occasional glass of wine, for the most part he plays by strict dietary rules.

“I want to be around for a while. If you don’t take care of this, it can lead to some scary stuff… like losing limbs. If anyone has this, it’s a red flag, period. But if I follow the rules I’ve been given, there’s no problem.”

9. Paul Sorvino

This Italian-American actor didn’t know if he could stay away from carbs like pasta when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2006, but after his diabetes worsened even while taking medication, he created a new diet lifestyle regimen with the help of his daughter, actress Mira Sorvino, that has allowed him to find a healthy balance.

“I use the pen,” he told Diabetes Forecast in 2011. “It’s extremely convenient. I don’t really have to worry too much about the day. When you’re on this type of a program, you can live a very healthy life. I’ve always exercised, but now I make sure I don’t go more than two days without exercise. I’ve had to make a big change in how I eat, and that’s OK. It’s not difficult for me to cook in a way that doesn’t injure me.”

Although Sorvino hasn’t given up pasta per se, he now eats low-carb pasta and consumes less sugar. He and his daughter have also become advocates of diabetes support networks through an awareness campaign called Diabetes Co-Stars, which is backed by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis.

10. Dick Clark

TV icon Dick Clark announced his having type 2 diabetes to the world at age 64, 10 years after his initial diagnosis, in order to raise awareness and encourage others to see a health advisor and stay on top of their self-care.

“Now, I’m being paid to do this,” he told Larry King in an interview on CNN in 2014. “There’s no secret about that. But that’s not the important thing. The important thing is to get the word out, to get people who know they have diabetes — and by the way, two-thirds of the people who have diabetes don’t realize they’re at risk for heart disease.”

Clark used a combination of pharmaceuticals, dietary changes, and 20 minutes of exercise a day to stay on top of his disease.

He suffered a severe stroke in 2004 with a surprising recovery and became a symbol of hope for many stroke victims, until his death from a heart attack after a medical procedure in 2012.

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As parents know, people from all walks of life get type 1 diabetes. When you go to your child’s classroom to educate the other kids about the condition, it can help to mention celebrities who have type 1, so children will understand that it doesn’t equate to cooties, or to any major limitations. On the contrary: Your child has something in common with some very cool, talented, accomplished people! Read on to meet a few of them.

Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas, perhaps the most famous young star with type 1 diabetes, was 13 when he was diagnosed in 2005. A founding member of the band The Jonas Brothers, he is also a Broadway veteran who recently founded the band Nick Jonas & The Administration. He started the Change for the Children Foundation that partners with five charities to raise money and awareness for diabetes.

Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox, a singer/songwriter and American Idol® alum, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 6 years old. In May 2010, she was hospitalized because of complications from diabetes during season nine of American Idol, and she was almost eliminated from the show. She convinced the producers to keep her on, and ended up being named first runner-up.

Elliot Yamin

Elliot Yamin, a singer/songwriter who was third runner-up on the fifth season of American Idol®, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16. He now works with the JDRF to raise awareness.

Kris Freeman

Kris Freeman is a national champion cross-country skier. Before competing in his first Olympics at age 19, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With careful management, he went on to participate in three Olympic Games and place fourth in the 2009 World Championships — the best finish for an American cross-country skier to date. In the off-season, he visits diabetes summer camps to encourage children to “keep reaching for their dreams. You don’t have to stop living just because you have diabetes.”

Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court justice Sonya Sotomayor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 7 years old. The little girl from the Bronx — who was so afraid of the needle on that first hospital visit that she ran away to the parking lot and hid under a car — eventually went on to graduate from Princeton University and Yale Law and become the first Latina to sit on the nation’s highest court.

Gary Hall, Jr.

Gary Hall, Jr. is an Olympic swimmer. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999 and was told he wouldn’t be able to swim in the Olympics ever again. He proved naysayers wrong when he won gold medals in 2000 and 2004. He started an organization called Foundation for Diabetes to fund research.

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore (best known for roles in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 33. In her memoir, she offers a personal account of living with diabetes.

Jay Cutler

At age 22, Jay Cutler (who’s been an NFL quarterback for the Denver Broncos and the Chicago Bears) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since then, he’s participated in fundraising efforts to help kids attend diabetes summer camp.

Coco

Coco, a young monkey with type 1 diabetes, is the star of the Disney book Coco and Goofy’s Goofy Day (from the same collaboration that produces this website). She even wears a diabetes bracelet! In the book, Goofy is worried that Coco won’t be able to participate in all the fun of his birthday bash, but it turns out it’s Goofy who can’t handle all the goodies! Ask your healthcare provider for a free copy at your next visit.

The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

26 Famous People with Type 1 Diabetes

Singer Crystal Bowersox

Singer Crystal Bowersox is perhaps one of the most visible type 1 diabetes advocates, as she is a regular performer at diabetes conferences. Since finding success on American Idol in 2010, Crystal has released two albums while continuing to perform, and to advocate on behalf of JDRF Advocacy, Beyond Type 1, and other diabetes-focused organizations.

Read our 2010 interview with Crystal Bowersox (her first time talking publicly about diabetes).

Watch this video on Bowersox.

George Canyon

George Canyon is a Canadian country singer who rocketed to fame as a runner-up in the 2004 Nashville Star 2 reality TV competition. Since then, he’s had several blockbuster albums and won the Juno Award for Country Recording of the Year. He’s become a huge public proponent for JDRF, traveling the U.S., Canada, and the world spreading the “gospel” of “you can do anything with diabetes!”

Read our featured interview with Canyon here.

Kevin Covias

In 2006, Kevin Covias competed in American Idol while in high school. His time on the show came just a few years after his type 1 diabetes diagnosis. He has since pivoted to acting, and can be seen most recently on This is Us. Initially reluctant to speak much about his diabetes during his time on Idol, Kevin is now active in advocacy with Children with Diabetes and the Diabetes Research Institute.

Read our featured interview with Kevin Covias.

Watch this video on Covias.

Valerie June

Valerie June is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, TN, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 27 in 2009. Rolling Stone named her 2013 album one of its 50 best albums of the year, and she’s been hailed by the New York Times as one of America’s “most intriguing, fully formed new talents.” She’s been very open talking about diabetes in media interviews.

Read our featured interview with June here.

Brett Michaels

Brett Michaels shot to fame with the hair-rock band Poison in the late 1980’s, and will tour with the band again in 2019. A steady solo performer as well, Brett was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a child. In 2010, he won Celebrity Apprentice and earned a quarter of a million dollars for the American Diabetes Association.

Watch this video on Michaels.

Eric Paslay

Eric Paslay is a GRAMMY-nominated country star and songwriter, and his 2011 album “Never Really Wanted” cracked the Billboard Country Top 10. His best-known songs include “Friday Night,” “Song About a Girl,” and “She Don’t Love You.” He is a Dexcom ambassador at Friends for Life conferences and serves on the board of directors for JDRF Middle Tennessee.

Read our featured interview with Eric Paslay.

Watch this video on Paslay.

Ben Rue

Country singer Ben Rue has been topping the Billboard Country Charts for the past few years. He grew up on a family farm in Oregon, where he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14. Since makinghis way to Nashville to pursue his country music dream, he’s become an advocate. In 2018, he partnered with Roche Diabetes Care to launch a campaign promoting a medication cost-savings program that also supports donations to diabetes nonprofits.

Read our featured interview with Rue here.

Elliott Yamin

On the fifth season of American Idol, viewers got to know Elliot Yamin’s voice, and his visible insulin pump. The vocalist has since enjoyed continued success with several gold-certified records. He also has been open about his early struggles with type 1 diabetes as a teenager, and has been active with JDRF and the International Diabetes Federation’s Life For A Child Program.

Watch this video on Yamin.

The start of November also marks the start of National Diabetes Awareness Month and stars living with the condition are using this as the perfect time to speak up.

On Wednesday, Disney Channel alum Jennifer Stone revealed that she as diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2013 and that’s taken her a while, but she’s finally ready to talk about it with the world.

“It has been a long road to get to a place where I was comfortable telling you guys about my Type 1,” Stone captioned her Instagram post revealing the diagnosis. “Today I am finally ready to fill you in on my journey and help others with diabetes feel less alone in this. I want to make the world a better place for those with diabetes and I can’t do that by staying quiet!”

A post shared by Jennifer Stone (@jenniferstone) on Nov 1, 2017 at 9:53am PDT

By sharing her story, Stone joins a list of other celebrities with Type 1 Diabetes who are using their voices to raise awareness.

Here are six other stars living with the condition:

Nick Jonas

The singer was diagnosed with Type 1 in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2007 until he shared the information with his fans. After the news was out, Jonas began to speak openly about the condition and his journey with it.

In 2008, he released a song as part of the Jonas Brothers called “A Little Bit Longer,” which detailed his feelings about living with Type 1 Diabetes. He’s continued to be an advocate for the cause in the 10 years since he made his original announcement.

For anyone living with diabetes.. Or any disease that complicates your life in any way.. Just know you are not alone.

— Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) March 10, 2016

Victor Garber

The “Legends of Tomorrow” star told Beyond Type 1 in 2016 that “ feel a certain shame attached to being a Type 1 diabetic, which is…not helpful, because the more you can share your experience with people, the more education is broadened and the less you feel like you’re alone.”

That’s why the actor originally decided to join Instagram, because he wanted to be a part of Beyond Type 1’s “Living Beyond” campaign to be “a face, an older face, for Type 1.”

Brec Bassinger

At just 8 years old, the Nickelodeon star was told she had Type 1 Diabetes. Now she’s an ambassador for JDRF, a charitable organization aimed at funding Type 1 research, and participates in walks-for-cures, as well as JDRF’s T1D Looks Like Me campaign to help raise awareness.

Thank you @JDRF for the amazing night at the #ImagineGala
Also thank you @SherriHill for the dress _ #typeonetotypenone pic.twitter.com/SiqwPHRK6C

— Brec Bassinger (@Brecbassinger) April 23, 2017

Derek Theler

The star of the upcoming series “New Warriors,” Theler has been balancing life with Type 1 Diabetes since he was diagnosed at 3 years old.

“Growing up with diabetes, I’ve realized you only get one life, and the most important commodity is time,” he told People in 2016. “Not only time but healthy time, doing the things that you love with the people you love. I want as much of that time as possible.”

Besides speaking with media outlets to raise awareness, he’s also used his social media platforms to help get the word out about Type 1.

I myself have type 1 diabetes. @JDRF is an amazing organization http://t.co/QEE4fKriDx

— Derek Theler (@DerekTheler) March 13, 2014

Bret Michaels

The Poison lead singer was 6 years old when he was diagnosed with Type 1. Growing up to be in a popular band, he’s had to learn how to handle living with the condition on the road.

Along with coming to terms with living life with Type 1, Michaels has also been helping others do the same.

“I fought so hard to get on ‘Apprentice’ and then fought even harder to win it, to raise awareness because it is such a complicated disease whether you are Type 1 or Type 2,” Michaels told Verywell about raising $250,000 for the American Diabetes Association in 2010 by winning “Celebrity Apprentice 3.”

He continued: “I think it helps a lot of people who feel very overwhelmed, not necessarily just depressed, but overwhelmed. I’m just here to show people that I’ve been through a really radical, crazy life and have still managed to manage my diabetes.”

Elliott Yamin

The “American Idol” alum was diagnosed over 20 years ago with Type 1 and he’s been educating people about the condition ever since.

“I’ve been able to use platform to help raise money for a cure, to educate, visit diabetes camps and inspire others,” Yamin told Beyond Type 1 in a 2016 interview.

Our celebrity supporters

JDRF is grateful to have support from many talented and high-profile celebrities. Their backing is helping to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and the work that we do – just some of them are listed below.

Adam Smith

Adam Smith is a Sky Sports presenter whose roles include hosting his own weekly show Saturday Social as well as presenting Kings of the Premier League on Friday evenings and The Debate.

He also conducts regular weekly interviews with some of the biggest names in the Premier League as well as co-hosting regular shows on TalkSport radio.

Adam has also hosted a string of live events including presenting KSI vs Logan Paul from Los Angeles, the opening ceremony for the first ever game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and hosting a special one off event for the Queen’s 90th Birthday at Windsor Castle.

Adam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2015 and says it has “completely changed his life”. Adam has a large fan base on social media and has supported several of JDRF’s campaigns, including our type 1 myth-busting campaign during Diabetes Week and our BBC Lifeline Appeal. He’s committed to raising awareness of type 1 diabetes, to dispel any stigma and misinformation about the condition and to help JDRF support and inspire everyone in the type 1 community.

Nina Wadia

Nina Wadia is an actress who has starred in many hit TV shows including Goodness Gracious Me, EastEnders, Still Open All Hours and will soon be on screens in BBC One’s Death in Paradise.

In September 2017, her son Aidan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 10 – something Nina admits to struggling with more than him, as she explains here: “There is no one braver in my life than my son. It is really tough to live with type 1, and the diagnosis was a terrible shock, but it is not the end of the world. Aidan has helped me to see that.

“A doctor told us we can still expect our son to have a great life, due to all the medical technology there now is to help. I am incredibly grateful for the research that JDRF funds towards this.”

Nina has recently taken part in Celebrity Catchphrase and Celebrity Tipping Point, donating her winnings to JDRF both times.

Jade Byrne

Jade is an actor, writer and stage performer who has lived with type diabetes since she was four.

Having been a professional actor for nine years with TV roles in the BBC’s Casualty, Inspector George Gently and The Dumping Ground, Jade decided the time was right to tell her own, dramatic story, and so wrote her one-woman stage show Pricks – a personal account of her 30 years living with type 1 diabetes.

Jade is committed to raising awareness in order to reduce the confusion and isolation, as well as the myths and misconceptions, that come from a lack of understanding about what type 1 diabetes is – as well as the psychological impact this can have on those with living with the lifelong condition:

“Raising awareness is so important, and something I can do even more of as a celebrity ambassador. This charity and the incredible work it does are very close to my heart and I’m so happy to be on board.”

Jonny Labey

Jonny Labey, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 15, hasn’t let it get in the way of him soaring to new heights as a dancer, actor and singer. Jonny made his TV acting debut as popular EastEnders character Paul Coker and he included type 1 in his character’s storyline.

But Jonny’s greatest passion in life is dancing. He’s been a dancer since he was 5 years old and went on to graduate from the prestigious Doreen Bird College of Performance. Since then Jonny has gone on to win ITV’s Dance Dance Dance.

He’s also played the lead role as Scott Hastings in Baz Luhrmann’s West End hit musical Strictly Ballroom. In Jonny’s spare time he runs a blog Know Your Type, where he interviews people from all walks of life on their experiences and tips for managing the condition.

Jonny has supported our fundraising events The Secret Garden Dinner and Pro-Celebrity Golf day. He’s joined forces with JDRF to inspire young people to overcome obstacles caused by type 1 and to follow their dreams:

“Everyone with type 1 diabetes should have the self-belief they can achieve whatever they want in life.”

James Norton

Actor James Norton was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November 2010.

The star of Grantchester, War and Peace and Happy Valley did not let type 1 diabetes prevent him from bursting onto the acting scene not long after his diagnosis and is now one of the UK’s leading actors.

James supports JDRF and lent his support to the 2016 #T1DLooksLikeMe campaign, filtering his Twitter profile picture and sharing his ‘DiaDigits’.

Speaking on World Diabetes Day 2016 as an ambassador for JDRF, James said:

“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2010 when I was near the start of my acting career. Managing the condition is a challenge, but I haven’t let it get in my way!

“I’m proud to support JDRF and its #T1DLooksLikeMe campaign.”

Henry Slade

Rugby star Henry Slade, has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 18.

Henry has not let his condition prevent him from reaching the very top of rugby union and has featured for England in the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup.

Henry supports JDRF and has met some young JDRF supporters to discuss how he deals with type 1 while playing professional rugby. He also shared how he prefers to eat Jelly Babies when his levels go a bit low!

Speaking to JDRF Henry said:

“Obviously it’s a serious condition. There’s no getting around that. But it’s okay as long as you manage yourself. I check my blood sugar levels about eight to ten times a day. I test before every training session and in between as well.”

Ed Gamble

Comedian Ed Gamblehas supported JDRF by taking part in events and campaigns to raise awareness of the condition and raise funds to support type 1 research.

The star of Mock The Week and Almost Royal took part in the Royal Parks half marathon for JDRF in October 2015.

Ed also took part in JDRF’s #Type1derWoman campaign in March 2016, naming his girlfriend and mother as a #Type1derWoman and posted his support on Twitter.

In 2017 Ed will run the London Marathon for JDRF. As part of his fundraising Ed hosted a comedy evening which featured performances by Aisling Bea, Milton Jones, Josh Widdicombe, Joel Dommett, Nish Kumar and Lolly Adefope at a sold out show in Putney, west London.

Jeremy Irvine

Hollywood actor Jeremy Irvine, who is a JDRF supporter, has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of six. He said:

“When the chance came for me to take part in early artificial pancreas trials a few years ago, I jumped at the opportunity.

“I wanted to play my own very small part in moving the artificial pancreas closer to reality.”

Speaking of the JDRF-funded scientists behind the research, Jeremy said: “They are my heroes.”

Ben Coker

Professional footballer Ben Coker, is an icon to many in the type 1 diabetes community.

Ben has on a number of occasions met young children with type 1 diabetes who are local to his club, Southend United.

Ben also posed in a onesie for JDRF’s #TypeOnesie campaign.

Si King

TV chef and one half of the Hairy Bikers, Si King,is father to a teenager living with type 1 diabetes. He launched a JDRF-supporting weight lost campaign in 2014 and described JDRF-funded research as ‘absolutely fantastic.’

Richard Wood

Professional footballer Richard Wood is father to a young son who lives with type 1 diabetes.

Richard, who plays for south Yorkshire side Rotherham United spoke to JDRF in 2016 about helping his son manage type 1 while playing professional football. Richard said:

“I go to every match concerned about Jenson’s type 1. In fact, every day I go into training I think and worry about how he will be.

“I don’t think that will ever change but, luckily, he has a great mum who I have complete trust in and looks after Jenson really well.”

Richard and his Rotherham teammates also donned blue JDRF t-shirts before a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in April 2016.

Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt

Downton Abbey stars Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt: “We believe that everyone, including people living with type 1 diabetes, deserves to get the most out of life. JDRF is a wonderful charity doing great things for people affected by the condition.”

Jim Carter

Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter: “I had the privilege of hosting a live auction at a Downton Abbey charity dinner for JDRF. The remarkable evening made me realise the impact that living with type 1 diabetes can have on someone’s life. It is a pleasure to help promote JDRF’s mission and help support research into the condition.”

Hugh Bonneville

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville: “It’s really important to get people talking about and understanding type 1 diabetes. That’s why JDRF needs the support of people like you and me, so they can continue to carry out vital research and make important progress in the understanding and treatment of the condition – and move that one step closer to finding a cure.”

Amelia Lily

Singer Amelia Lilly:

“I have had type 1 diabetes since I was three and it can make even the smallest daily activities a chore.

“I have to think about everything that I do, especially when preparing for a national tour. I support the amazing work that JDRF does, in the strong hope that one day there will finally be a cure!”

Jude Law

Hollywood actor Jude Law:

“Type 1 diabetes can happen to anyone. A child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of five faces up to 19,000 injections and 50,000 finger prick blood tests by the time they are 18.”

“As a father, I can appreciate the strain that could place on a family.

“That’s why JDRF has my full support for greater investment into type 1 diabetes research.

“For both children and adults with the condition, we must push forward to find the cure.”

Felicity Jones

BAFTA and Oscar nominated The Theory of Everything actress Felicity Jones is a supporter of JDRF. She said:

“Many medical conditions have such a huge impact on daily life. For some the effects are visually obvious to people. But for others – like type 1 diabetes – it’s not.

“It would be wonderful if more people unaffected by type 1 diabetes knew more about it. So if I can do anything to raise awareness – and help bust some myths – then that’s cool!”

Dominic Littlewood

Television presenter Dominic Littlewood:

“I have lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 40 years. I may have had 20,000 hypos in my lifetime – that’s more than many people have had hot dinners. It highlights the challenge that this life-long condition represents.”

Stephen Dixon

Sky News presenter Stephen Dixon, who lives with type 1 diabetes, said: “I’ve always refused to let type 1 diabetes hold me back. But minimising the effects of the condition does take considerable effort. I always carry Glucogel or a snack around with me in case I feel the symptoms of a hypo come on – which has happened when I’ve been on air.”

Speaking of JDRF’s artificial pancreas project, he said: “It is very exciting technology and I look forward to the time when I can use one myself as part of day-to-day life.”

Peter James

Crime thriller novelist Peter James: “Living with type 2, I know from my own experiences of the often unpredictable nature of this disease, the frustrating, restrictive and very dangerous impact that diabetes can have on your life. JDRF’s mission to cure type 1 diabetes is very close to my heart and I hope that this will be achieved one day.”

Chris Pennell

Rugby star Chris Pennell is a big fan of our #TypeOnesie campaign. His team mates even love it too! Chris is the first professional rugby player living with type 1 diabetes to score a try for England.

Este Haim

Musician Este Haim – part of the international best-selling group ‘Haim’– lives with type 1 diabetes. She said:

“Type 1 diabetes takes a lot of planning. It’s no joke. You’ve got to take it seriously. I know we can help fund a cure together…let’s do this and help me kick this thing in the butt!”

Dr Radha Modgil

GP and medical television presenter Dr Radha Modgil:

“As a GP and someone who has experience of how type 1 diabetes affects children and their families, I wholeheartedly support the amazing work JDRF does. Let’s do our utmost to raise funds and awareness about diabetes – to find a cure and improve the lives of all those children, young people and families affected by it. We can do it!”

When you’re living with an incurable illness, even the simplest tasks can feel like a struggle.

On days like that, it’s nice to have a reminder that diabetes doesn’t define you. It doesn’t control you. Diabetes is a part of you, but it’s the part that makes you stronger and forces you to be better.

If you’re in need of that reminder today, here are 10 celebrities who prove diabetes doesn’t have to stand in the way of living your life or achieving your dreams.

One of the most fascinating things about the Jay Cutler diabetes story is that this talented football player was well on his way to achieving his dreams of an NFL career BEFORE his T1D diagnosis.

Jay was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2006. Throughout his first year in the NFL, he struggled with weight loss and fatigue. It wasn’t until 2008, at the age of 25, that he finally received his diagnosis.

But the timing was actually perfect. Jay had the entire summer to learn about the disease and find the treatment regimens that worked best for him. By the time the 2008 season rolled around, he had his blood sugars under control, felt stronger than he had in years, and was ready to get back on the field.

Jean Smart is an actress who has performed on Broadway, on TV, and on the big screen. She is most well known for her role in the series Frasier, and the movies Garden State and Sweet Home Alabama.

Jean was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 13. But it wasn’t until she became pregnant at the age of 36 that the importance of managing her blood sugars really hit home. At that point, she had already starred on Broadway and was currently involved in the TV series Designing Women.

Despite less than perfect numbers early on, Jean gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Today she relies on exercise, eating right, and frequent blood sugar checks to keep herself healthy. She is an avid supporter of the JDRF and ADA.

Surviving the 80s as the frontman of a hairband is a feat but doing so while living with type 1 diabetes is even more incredible.

Bret Michaels, the lead singer of Poison, was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 6. Bret always used his music as a type of therapy to help him deal with the grueling nature of the disease. But it wasn’t until he collapsed on stage from low blood sugar in 1987 that he finally shared that struggle with the world.

Today, Bret works with multiple diabetes organizations and has even founded his own charity to help children suffering from the disease.

Sonia Sotomayer

As if being the first Latina and Hispanic Justice on the Supreme Court wasn’t a large enough accomplishment, Sonia Sotomayer was able to get there after living with type 1 diabetes for most of her life.

Sonia was diagnosed in the early 60s at the age of 7. She recalls boiling her syringes to sterilize them before giving herself insulin injections when she was young. At the time, talking about a disease like diabetes wasn’t something people did. And Sonia, especially, didn’t want people to pity her.

Today, Sonia is very open about her diabetes and has even recently released an autobiography, My Beloved World (Amazon), in which she describes her life with the disease as well as her historic rise to the Supreme Court.

As one of the most famous young celebrities with type 1, Nick Jonas has always been vocal about his struggle with the disease.

Nick was diagnosed at the age of 13 after extreme weight loss landed him in the hospital. It was the same year he formed his now-famous band with his brothers. Rising to fame while learning how to deal with a life-changing condition was certainly challenging, but it also forced Nick to be open with his fans about his diabetes.

As a co-founder of Beyond Type 1, a social media-based community for kids with T1D, Nick continues to be an outspoken role model for those living with diabetes today.

Anna Rice

Author Anna Rice, best known for her book Interview with a Vampire (Amazon), was in her late 50s when she was diagnosed with type 1. Years of symptoms including weight loss, headaches, and stomach pain finally ended in a coma.

By that point, Anna was already well into her career as a writer and has since written short stories about living with the disease. She frequently uses her brush with death as a muse for her fiction and recognizes that diabetes can be both a curse and a driver for positive change.

Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams has accomplished a lot. She’s a model, actress, dancer, and singer. And she has done it all while living with type 1 diabetes.

Vanessa was young when she was first diagnosed with the disease and credits her mother for helping her develop healthy eating habits and encouraging her to stay active. She doesn’t focus on the disease or other common measures of health like the number on a scale. Instead, she focuses on how she feels inside and adjusts her diet and activity level in response to that.

Gary Hall Jr.

Gary Hall Jr. was following in his dad’s footsteps as an Olympic swimmer when he received his T1D diagnosis. It was 1999, three years after Hall had already won four medals swimming in the 1996 Olympics.

At the time, his doctors told him he would never swim competitively again. With the same determination that drove his athletic career, he aimed to prove them wrong. He won four Olympic medals the following year, despite suffering both extremely low and extremely high blood sugars during competition.

Surprisingly, one of Gary’s biggest challenges post-diagnosis was obtaining health insurance. Despite being a world-class athlete, he was forced to pay tens-of-thousands of dollars for insurance until the ACA was passed.

Gary continued to collect medals in the 2004 games and today spends much of his time advocating for diabetic athletes.

Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox placed 2nd in the 2010 season of American Idol despite suffering from a severe episode of DKA halfway through the season. In fact, she had to beg the network to let her stay on the show after she was hospitalized.

Luckily, after agreeing to have a nurse stay with her 24/7, Crystal was allowed to finish the competition. She has used her newfound fame to speak out about diabetes. She is also a passionate supporter of the JDRF.

Sam Fuld

Sam Fuld is a former Major League Baseball player who spent time batting for the Cubs, Twins, Athletics, and Rays.

Sam was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 10. But, even as a kid, he had his sights set on playing in the big leagues, and diabetes wasn’t about to change that. He continued to follow that dream through college and the minor leagues while keeping a close eye on his blood sugars.

Now that his MLB career is over, Sam dedicates much of his time to running baseball camps for kids with T1D and raising money to find a cure.

Test strips, blood sugar monitors, and insulin pumps are all part of a day in the life of someone living with diabetes. Several famous actors, musicians, and athletes have Type I diabetes. Some of these celebrities were diagnosed with diabetes when they were children, while others developed the disease later on in life.

Who is the most famous person with diabetes? Sharon Stone tops our list. Mary Tyler Moore was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in her 30s. She eventually became an outspoken advocate bringing awareness to the disease. American Idol alum Crystal Bowersox has been hospitalized due to complications with Type I diabetes.

Several famous men also have Type I diabetes. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 2008. Poison frontman Bret Michaels was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when he was 6 years old. Pop star Nick Jonas was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 2005. In the 1950s, Jackie Robinson was diagnosed as a diabetic.

Are you surprised that so many celebrities have diabetes? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Nick Jonas was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 13 years ago, and he’s sharing his struggle with the disease with his fans.

In a post on Instagram, the singer showed side-by-side photos of himself from a few weeks after he was diagnosed to now.

Jonas, 26, wrote about the throwback picture that he was “barely 100 pounds after having lost so much weight from my blood sugar being so high before going to the doctor where I would find out I was diabetic.”

Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.

Describing the recent photo he says, “On the right is me now. Happy and healthy.”

Type 1 diabetes, often referred to as juvenile diabetes, is a disease that occurs when the body’s pancreas stops producing insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. It is different from Type 2 diabetes, which makes up 95 percent of diabetes cases and is correlated with obesity. A Type 2 diabetes diagnosis can potentially be reversed through weight loss, but unfortunately there is no cure for Type 1. The good news is that you can learn how to live a happy and healthy life with the condition.

“Prioritizing my physical health, working out and eating healthy and keeping my blood sugar in check. I have full control of my day to day with this disease, and I’m so grateful to my family and loved ones who have helped me every step of the way,” the singer wrote.

Nick Jonas tells Jimmy Fallon how he met Priyanka Chopra

Sept. 10, 201801:20

The actor’s finacée, singer and actor Priyanka Chopra, 36, has been so supportive of him.

“Everything about you is special. With or without diabetes,” she commented on his post, adding a kiss emoji.

The pair started dating this year and got engaged in July. They often comment on each other’s social media posts, sending each other admiring messages.

Jonas is a co-founder of Beyond Type 1, an organization that helps educate kids through social media on how to live life with the chronic disease. He’s shown us that it is possible to turn what could be a scary diagnosis into an opportunity for self-advocacy and the chance to help others!

‘Brave’ Maeve Hollinger was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 18 months old.

Nov. 25, 201707:13

Type 1 diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is an incurable disease that requires lifelong treatment. That is, unless you’re Daniel Darkes.

About eight years ago, Darkes said, doctors diagnosed him with type 1 diabetes: a potentially life-threatening condition in which the immune system kills off the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, the hormone necessary for transporting glucose, or sugar, into cells so they can produce energy.

But early last year, routine finger-prick tests showed his blood-sugar levels were normal, so doctors advised him to stop his insulin injections, Darkes said. Now, his doctors have told him they’re 80 percent sure he’s cured, the Northampton Chronicle and Echo reported. If true, this would mean Darkes could be the first person ever to naturally experience complete remission of type 1 diabetes.

Darkes has become a celebrity within the diabetes community, particularly in the United Kingdom, and he was happy to talk with Live Science about his experience.

Daniel Darkes is a 30-year-old army veteran and type 1 diabetic who said he no longer needs insulin. (Image credit: Daniel Darkes)

But does Darkes’ story really mean type 1 diabetes can be cured? Darkes declined to provide his medical records, and the experts Live Science spoke to said there were several missing or confusing pieces of information in his story. Usually, incredible medical stories like this one are reported as case reports in the medical literature, the experts said. And even if the details of his story can ultimately be confirmed, the experts emphasized that it’s extremely unlikely that Darkes’ case would lead to a widespread cure for type 1 diabetes, as reports in the media have wrongly suggested.

A lifelong diagnosis

Darkes, who is 30 years old and an army veteran, lives in Northamptonshire, England. Soon after he left the army, he began feeling symptoms of type 1 diabetes: sweating, blurred vision, tiredness and weight loss. “It lasted three or four days,” Darkes told Live Science. “Then I collapsed at work.”

Darkes said that a blood test showed his body wasn’t producing C-peptide, a by-product of the body’s production of insulin, which can reveal how much of the hormone the pancreas makes. Additional tests led doctors to diagnose him with type 1 diabetes, Darkes said.

It’s unclear how people get the disease — genetics plays a big role, though unknown environmental factors may also trigger the disease. Either way, the disease causes the immune system to mistakenly attack and kill insulin-producing cells, called beta cells, in the pancreas. (This differs from type 2 diabetes, in which the body initially makes sufficient insulin but the cells cannot properly use it.) Without enough insulin working to remove glucose from the blood stream, and allowing glucose to enter the body’s cells, blood sugar levels spike. Left untreated, this insulin deficiency leads to a deadly complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. What’s more, having high blood sugar over the long term can cause life-threatening complications such as kidney damage or heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The primary treatment for type 1 diabetes is lifelong insulin injections and consistent blood sugar monitoring. Darkes said he gave himself insulin injections four times a day to keep his blood sugar levels in check. But something changed in 2016, when he began training intensively for ultramarathons.

Darkes said his blood sugar began crashing, especially at night. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can cause fatigue, hunger and irritability and, if left untreated, can cause seizures or death.

“That lasted three or four weeks, so I decided to go to my doctor,” Darkes said.

He visited Northamptonshire General Hospital, where he said doctors explained that he was experiencing hypoglycemia because his insulin injections were causing his body to remove too much glucose from his blood. Darkes said his doctors also told him that his test results suggested that his diabetes had disappeared.

Live Science requested Darkes’ medical records from Northamptonshire General Hospital communications manager Eva Duffy. She said the European Union forbids the release of patient medical records or test results even with a signed waiver. Duffy would not confirm or deny any of Darkes’ claims.

“His story surfaced a year and a half ago, and we have never commented on Daniel’s situation at any point,” Duffy told Live Science.

Darkes is an ultramarathon runner. He said doctors told him this may have contributed to him no longer needing insulin. (Image credit: Daniel Darkes)

At the recommendation of his doctors at Northamptonshire General, Darkes said he traveled to St. Louis in January 2017, where he underwent additional testing. First, he said, “I had a microchip placed into my lower back where my kidneys sit to measure protein levels and blood sugar, where it stayed overnight.”

But Dr. David Klonoff, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco’s Diabetes Center, who specializes in biotechnology for diabetes, was perplexed by the microchip Darkes described.

“My job is to keep up with this stuff,” Klonoff told Live Science. “When something’s out there, there’s a good chance that I’ve heard about it, but I haven’t heard anything about this .”

When he was in St. Louis, Darkes said, he also underwent a running test “aimed at me personally” (since the doctors knew he was an avid runner), and a blood test to measure key pancreatic molecules and “to see if cells were alive and what percentage,” he said.

Darkes said several medical professionals worked with him when he was in St. Louis, but he could name only his senior consultant, Dr. Michael Berk. Berk is an endocrinologist who runs his own practice in St. Louis and is also a clinical associate at Washington University. Because Darkes declined a request to submit a medical release form to Berk’s office, Live Science could not confirm key elements of his story, or whether or not he was even a patient of Dr. Berk.

The results of his medical tests are still being analyzed, Darkes said, but he hasn’t needed insulin injections for a year and a half. “It took a long time to sink in,” he noted. But Darkes is confident he no longer has type 1 diabetes. He said that doctors told him that he has a “rare” gene that somehow facilitated his cure. “I’m the only one who carries , at the moment,” and there’s no further explanation so far, he said.

Too good to be true?

The first media reports of Darkes’ supposed cure, along with a similar description of the “rare” gene that partially explained it, began surfacing in February 2017. At the time, Darkes made it clear that his doctors in Northampton were still reviewing the test results, and that they would report on their findings soon. A story published in March 2017 in the Northampton Chronicle and Echo reported that Darkes’ test results “are expected to be published next week.”

But they haven’t been published, and now well over a year has passed. So, what is going on?

“Yes, it’s a frustrating case,” Darkes told Live Science in an email. “But the doctors have to be as accurate as they can be with what’s happened, so they’ve given a 2-year time scale for completed type 1 reversal.” Darkes explained that if he can go without insulin injections for two years, his doctors will be 100 percent sure his diabetes is gone.

Darkes said he asked his doctors if he could share more information about his case with the media but was told “not to give details about the medical case and results at present,” he said. “There’s nothing I can do until my consultant and team finalize later this year.”

This makes Darkes’ story seem less plausible, said Dr. Matthias von Herrath, a professor of developmental immunology at La Jolla Institute in California, and an expert in type 1 diabetes. This type of claim is “earth-shattering,” he said. “If it’s not well corroborated, it’s like your grandmother’s rumor kitchen” — there’s nothing backing the story. If there is a clinical record and the data are clear, the doctors should publish a case report, Von Herrath told Live Science.

“The rare-gene story makes me doubt whether this is truly type 1 diabetes,” said Bart Roep, a clinical immunologist at City of Hope’s Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute in California. “About 5 to 11 percent of diabetic patients are misdiagnosed. What they have is MODY,” or maturity-onset diabetes of the young.

MODY is an inherited form of diabetes mellitus caused by a change in one of 11 genes, which results in the body not producing enough insulin, according to Harvard Medical School. MODY can look similar to type 1 diabetes, but its symptoms and treatment vary depending on which of the 11 genes is affected.

“There have been cases where patients were treated with insulin for years until they discovered it was a rare genetic variant” of MODY, Roep told Live Science. Those people are no longer diagnosed as having type 1 diabetes, and they may be able to manage their blood sugar levels with either oral drugs or diet and exercise changes, “but that would not be the same as being cured,” Roep said.

What could be happening

Beta cells, the cells that produce insulin, can regenerate and regain function in some cases, Von Herrath said. There’s a wide spectrum of severity when it comes to type 1 diabetes, and that means some people may lose virtually all of their beta cells while others may retain a portion of them.

“What is interesting is that some patients retain beta cell function for over 50 years,” he said. “And, it seems if you retain some, that’s a lot better.” So, for Darkes to still have some functioning beta cells would not be impossible, but it wouldn’t eliminate the disease, Von Herrath said. “Depending on how many beta cells he has, maybe his form of type 1 diabetes was not very severe.”

“You only need 10 percent of your beta cells to supply sufficient insulin,” Roep said. He said there have been a couple of rare cases where a patient had typical type 1 diabetes but could go through long periods without insulin injections. “Insulin needs can be a moving target, and if you have a lifestyle change it’s very plausible that you have a lesser need for insulin, and you can deal with with the beta cells you have,” Roep said.

Researchers have only recently started to realize that diabetes is a far more diverse disease than they used to believe, Roep said. And every unique case “shows us that we don’t know what we think we know,” he said. But because of that diversity, “we will never have a magic bullet, drug or pill that will cure everybody.”

Von Herrath agreed, and said he’s frustrated every time he sees an article or study claiming that a cure for diabetes is on the horizon. It’s really not true, he said, and those kinds of statements give people false hope.

All of the experts who spoke with Live Science hope to see evidence of Darkes’ story in the scientific literature soon, but they aren’t holding their breath. “It’s a very strange story,” Von Herrath said. “At any rate, wish him good luck.”

Original article on Live Science.

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