Every November, communities across the United States — from health organizations to celebrities and beyond — make a special effort to bring awareness to diabetes during Diabetes Awareness Month. In fact, many celebrities have been particularly vocal about Type 1 diabetes in recent years, boldly voicing their own experiences with the autoimmune disease. From a singer and an actress, to an author and a leader in our government, check out these 4 celebrities who have opened up about their journeys with Type 1 diabetes.
1. Halle Berry
Actress Halle Berry had a health scare at age 22 when she appeared on ABC’s “Living Dolls” sitcom. She collapsed during filming and went into a coma that lasted for one week. After her scare, she later discovered that she had Type 1 diabetes. However, in 2007, Berry reportedly said she managed to wean herself off of insulin by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and was now considered in the Type 2 category, which raised eyebrows of medical physicians since Type 1 diabetes is considered incurable. Doctors believe that Berry may have had Type 2 diabetes all along being that it is impossible for anyone with Type 1 diabetes to function without insulin.
2. Nick Jonas
Singer Nick Jonas went public about his experiences with Type 1 diabetes back in 2007. He remembers feeling isolated when he was diagnosed in 2002 at only 13-years-old, since he did not have a Type 1 community to turn to for support. That’s why he created his organization, Beyond Type 1, bringing together people with Type 1 diabetes by providing a resource to manage the disease.
“There’s a camaraderie there, built in,” Jonas has said. “Because of the openness and a willingness to share about the journey you are on while trying to manage Type 1.”
The Beyond Type 1 team has plans to continue breaking boundaries and provide as much helpful information as possibleto those with diabetes.
3. Anne Rice
In 1999, influential gothic fiction writer Anne Rice was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after collapsing and entering a diabetic coma that nearly took her life. According to a 2004 interview with ABC News, Rice said,”[Paramedics] ran the tests and they got a blood-sugar [level] of 800, which is pretty much I think fatal. What they told me later was that I was in a coma, and of course death would have followed in about five to 10, maybe 15 minutes.” Rice went on to explain her symptoms which started with having cramps after every meal, then losing an abnormal amount of weight. Since her scare, Rice has been a powerful advocate for the Type 1 community.
4. Sonia Sotomayor
Lastly, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at just seven years old, and she has heavily relied on daily insulin shots to manage her sugar levels since. Sotomayor has written many inspiring books that detail her experiences living with Type 1 diabetes, such as her children’s book “Just Ask!” She also tackles the subject in her 432-page autobiography, “My Beloved World.”