Famous People Living Sweet Lives With Type 2 Diabetes
From actors and musicians to professional athletes, the truth is that type 2 diabetes can affect anyone — even celebrities! These celebrities with type 2 diabetes haven’t let their diagnosis stop them from living fulfilling lives, and neither should you. We hope that reading about these celebrities and how they live with type 2 diabetes helps fuel your own fight.
1. Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks is most known for his extensive acting career in popular films like Cast Away, Forrest Gump, Toy Story, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail. However, many people have no idea that he is also living with type 2 diabetes. Hanks had been dealing with prediabetes and high blood sugar since he was 36 years old, but officially shared he was a type 2 diabetic in a 2013 interview with David Letterman. Since being diagnosed, Hanks manages his diabetes with regular exercise, weight loss, and a healthy diet.
2. Randy Jackson
When the former American Idol judge was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he weighed 350 pounds and had a blood sugar level of more than 500. “Diabetes ran in my family, but you always think someone else is going to get it — never you,” Randy Jackson admits. After being diagnosed, Jackson was inspired to take charge of his health and ended up losing 120 pounds in the process. He encourages others living with diabetes to not only change their diets, but also their mindsets about altering their lifestyles in the first place.
3. Patti LaBelle
Despite the fact that her mother had type 2 diabetes, Patti LaBelle remained in denial about her own risk of developing the disease. It wasn’t until passing out on stage during a concert when the award-winning singer finally became aware of her own type 2 diabetes. Although LaBelle initially ignored her symptoms, this was the defining moment that inspired her to take control of her diabetes. Today, LaBelle is a proud advocate for the diabetes community and has even published a cookbook, Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine, which features recipes that are both healthy and delicious.
Speaking of recipes, click here to find plenty of diabetic-friendly recipes from the Swee2ooth Café!
4. Drew Carey
Here at Swee2ooth, we believe that type 2 diabetes is both preventable and reversible. Famous American television actor and comedian Drew Carey is the perfect example that type 2 diabetes can be reversed! After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Carey lost 80 pounds by switching to a low carb diet and performing at least 45 minutes of cardio multiple times a week. As a result, he was able to reverse his type 2 and cure himself of his symptoms altogether.
5. Sherri Shepherd
Best known for being a co-host on The View, Sherri Shepherd was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2007 after years of ignoring warnings that she had prediabetes. Like many others, Shepherd was able to control her blood sugar by changing her diet, losing weight, and sticking with a regular exercise routine.
By making these lifestyle changes and switching to a no-sugar diet, Shepherd drastically lowered her A1C from 6.6 to 5.4 percent. Although many people tend to look at a diagnosis like diabetes in a negative light, Shepherd says that it saved her life and was the wake up call she needed to change her life for the better. “You’ve got to be forgiving,” Shepherd advises. “Don’t be paralyzed, and you can still live an amazing life.”
6. David Wells
When you think of celebrities with type 2 diabetes, it’s safe to assume professional athletes aren’t the first demographic that come to your mind. David Wells is a great reminder that diabetes can affect all types of people — even professional athletes. A former Major League Baseball pitcher, Wells is most known for pitching the 15th perfect game in baseball history.
After he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Wells vowed that he would put in the work to make the necessary changes in his life. Applying the same tenacity he was known for on the field to his diagnosis, Wells immediately changed his diet and lifestyle. Although there’s no denying that developing type 2 diabetes can be scary, Wells is the perfect example of reacting to the diagnosis with a positive attitude geared towards change.
7. Mike Golic
As a former professional football player, Mike Golic is used to tackling problems head on — and that’s exactly what he did after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Once he was diagnosed, Golic knew he had to use his platform to advocate for the disease and teach people how to manage their blood sugar levels.
Golic became involved with the American Diabetes Association’s Team Tackle, which consists of a group of current and former professional football players. Together, Golic and the rest of Team Tackle have worked to raise awareness of diabetes, and even lobbied Congress to increase funding for diabetes research.
8. Ben Vereen
Broadway star Ben Vereen is no stranger to taking the stage. Since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Vereen has made it his mission to take a different stage and use his platform to show people that diabetes doesn’t have to hold you back. In fact, you can live a great life despite having this disease! Vereen often reminds his followers that the first step to taking control of diabetes is not letting the disease control you in the first place.
Many people see diabetes as a death sentence, but Vereen sees things differently. In fact, he sees diabetes as the complete opposite — a life sentence. “It’s a death sentence if you aren’t doing the right things,” Vereen shares. “But if you do the right things and work with your doctor to change your eating habits, you can still have a great life.”
9. S. Epatha Merkerson
Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson is famous for her roles on Law & Order and Chicago Med. But when Merkerson attended a health convention as a celebrity guest, she never expected to also find out that she had type 2 diabetes. Although the diagnosis came as a surprise at the time, Merkerson can now recognize various warning signs, such as frequent urination, feeling fatigued despite getting enough sleep, and constantly being hungry or thirsty.
When it comes to controlling her diabetes, Merkerson emphasizes the importance of doing your research and focusing on the positives. “The knowledge you have about diabetes will give you the power to think positively when you find yourself feeling distressed,” Merkerson shares. “The more you know about your condition, the more you can do to manage it.”
Fuel Your Fight With a Sweet Community
Now that you’ve learned about some of the celebrities with type 2 diabetes, it’s time to find a community of your own! At Swee2ooth, we’re strong believers that having a diabetic community who truly understands what you’re going through can make all the difference. That’s exactly why we created our S2 Community for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes on Facebook! Click the button below to join our sweet community and gain access to a group of people with type 2 just like you.