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Fighting Diabetes: Stars Who Are Managing The Disease [PHOTOS]
Oretha Winston, Lead Editor
In most cases, celebrities are reluctant to talk openly about their medical issues (think: Kathy Bates’ recent revelation that she’d battled ovarian cancer 9 years ago, but kept it under wraps.).
Actor Tom Hanks recently discussed recently his Type 2 diabetes diagnosis, including forgoing roles that require gaining weight. While promoting the European premiere of his new film Captain Phillips, Hanks talked about his diagnosis and his lifestyle saying,
“I’ve talked to a number of actors who have gained weight for roles, and just the sheer physical toll it puts on one’s knees and shoulders – no one wants to do it again. I’m 57 and I don’t think I’m going to take on any job or go on vacation again and see to it that I can gain 30 pounds.”
There are over 2 million Americans who suffer from diabetes. Hanks is one of many entertainers who have gone public about their diabetes battle. Here are eight other celebs with diabetes who’ve shared how they manage living with high blood sugar
Halle Berry was diagnosed in 1988, when she slipped into a diabetic coma while at work on the set of the TV show Living Dolls. Though she’s since discovered that she has type 2 diabetes, doctors initially thought the slender, fit Berry had type 1 diabetes. In the years since her diagnosis, the Oscar winner has taken every opportunity to discuss her illness in interviews—and is the face of the education program called Diabetes Aware. “Hopefully, through our efforts, we will empower people to better understand what it means to live with diabetes, and not be afraid to seek help,” she said.
Patti LaBelle was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1994—after passing out onstage—she knew she needed to pay attention to her health. “My uncle went blind because of it and he died. My aunt and my grandmother had it,” the 68-year-old singer says. “So when the doctor told me I was a diabetic, I was like, ‘No, no, no.’ I cried.” She began taking walks, working out with a trainer, and then she overhauled her cooking habits. A lover of comfort foods—and author of several cookbooks—she’s found ways to adapt her favorite foods to be diabetic-friendly. “Instead of frying my fish, like I used to do, I sauté it.” she says. “Because I can’t use butter, these days I am a fresh garlic fanatic.” She has also speaks out frequently on the subject of living with diabetes, as a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association. “You know, having diabetes is like having to treat your body like a temple, not an amusement park,” LaBelle says. “I work hard to treat my body right..” Her message to others with the disease is clear: “You can take hold of the situation,” she says. “I feel great now. I live the right way. I wear fierce clothes. God has blessed me. Everything I do now, I do it proud. I am a divabetic!”