For proof that type 1 diabetes doesn’t have to hold anyone back from reaching their dreams, check out these famous faces who are counting carbs, checking blood sugar… and making a name for themselves!
Haim is considered one of the coolest — and most hard-working — bands on the music scene. The band is made up of three sisters: Danielle, Este, and Alana Haim. Este, the band’s bass player, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 (she’s 34 now). To make her rock ‘n’ roll life possible, she puts in the work to keep her diabetes managed: “Type 1 diabetes takes a lot of planning,” she said at a recent JDRF event. “It’s no joke. You’ve got to take it seriously.”
Actress Elizabeth Perkins didn’t develop type 1 diabetes until she was 45 years old. But the star of hit films and TV shows including “Big,” “The Flintstones,” and “Weeds” quickly got into the T1D swing of things. Her daily routine? “First thing in the morning, last thing in the evening, and four or five times in between, checking, checking, checking. It’s the only way to manage it,” she told People about caring for her diabetes. “Everybody on-set is just used to me raising my skirt and sticking myself in the thigh. It’s like breastfeeding. Sorry if it bothers you!” Fun fact about being a working actor with T1D: Perkins uses injectable insulin pens while filming because she says wearing an insulin pump can interfere with sound transmission while on-set.
When Sam Fuld was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10, he decided that it wasn’t going to stop him from reaching his goal of one day playing Major League Baseball. “I kept laser-focused on my dreams and vowed never to let my T1D get in the way,” he wrote for Huggins Hospital in his home state of New Hampshire. “I promised myself I would never have to come out of a game as a result of a high or low.” Fuld stepped up to the big league in 2007 and went on to play parts of nine seasons with the Cubs, Rays, Twins, and A’s. Today he runs a sports camp for kids with diabetes.
Photo Credit: GREYLAND
Country singer RaeLynn first captivated audiences on “The Voice” when she placed third on the second season of the show. RaeLynn discovered her love of country-western music when she was 12 years old, the same year she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. “My initial reaction to my diagnosis was sadness and confusion. I was also scared about taking injections every day for the rest of my life, especially since I hated needles,” she told Diabetes Daily. But today? RaeLynn now credits her T1D as helping her take good care of herself. “It may sound odd to some, but I actually don’t resent the fact that I was diagnosed with diabetes. I actually credit it with helping me take better care of myself so I’m able to do what I love best — write, record, and perform.”
Rising country music star Eric Paslay was diagnosed with type 1 when he was 10 years old. Diabetes hasn’t held him back from his dream of making it big on the Nashville music scene; in fact, it’s just the opposite. “I think being a kid growing up with diabetes helped give me the guts to be the kind of musician I am now,” he told Diabetes Mine. “Sometimes when you’re feeling a bit different, when you don’t quite fit in with the crowd, it allows you to step out and do things that aren’t ‘typical,’” said Paslay.
Photo credit: Nick Lafontaine
When Max Domi was diagnosed with T1D at age 12, his first words to the doctor were: “Can I still play hockey?” The answer, as hockey fans know, was yes! Today Domi has played over 200 games with the Montreal Canadiens. He’s always careful about managing his T1D, especially on game days, and has a diabetes alert dog named Orion to help him out. Domi has written all about his life on and off the ice with diabetes in his recently published book, No Days Off: My Life With Type 1 Diabetes and Journey to the NHL.
Disclaimer: 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.