The American Diabetes Association envisions a life free of diabetes and has chosen November as American Diabetes Month to raise awareness about complications with the disease and the people who are impacted. Because of World Diabetes Day on November 14, we’ve compiled a top five list of celebrities who are currently living with diabetes:
1. Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks is one of the most successful actors of the last quarter century. He’s won two Academy Awards for his work in “Forrest Gump” and “Philadelphia” and has been nominated for “Cast Away,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Big.” The 57-year-old actor recently announced on “Late Night with David Letterman” that he has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
It has been speculated that Hanks’s rapid weight fluctuation between roles could have played a factor in his elevated blood sugar levels. In 1992, Hanks gained 30 pounds to play Coach Jimmy Dugan in “A League of Their Own” and followed that up by losing more than 50 pounds for his role in “Cast Away.” He says his condition is manageable, so long as he maintains a proper diet.
2. Halle Berry
Halle Berry was working on the set of her short-lived “Who’s the Boss” spinoff “Living Dolls” in 1989 when she unexpectedly passed out. She had fallen into a diabetic coma that would keep her unconscious for seven days. When she woke up, doctors told her she had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
She had to drastically alter her diet or she risked losing her legs and eyesight. Berry takes daily insulin shots and no longer eats sugar-rich foods in an effort to prevent kidney failure and heart disease. Berry is known for her roles in the “X-Men” series as well as a Bond Girl in “Die Another Day.” She won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in “Monsters Ball.”
3. Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson is best-known as the last remaining original judge for FOX’s reality TV show, “American Idol.” He had been behind the bench for 12 seasons before leaving to focus on other ventures. Jackson has also had a successful career as a producer and has worked with prominent artists such as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, *NSYNC and Fergie.
In 2003, though, Jackson had a rude awakening when he suddenly felt ill. He spoke with a doctor and was told he had type 2 diabetes. He has since made substantial changes to his diet and exercise routine. He is now a regular at the gym and eats healthier than ever.
4. Brett Michaels
Although he is often associated with ‘80s hair band, Poison, Bret Michaels has remained in the spotlight in recent years with his TV show “Rock of Love” and an appearance on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” Michaels won “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2010 and raised $390,000 for the American Diabetes Association.
This particular organization means a lot to Michaels, as he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 6. In an interview with Diabetes Forecast, Michaels recalls that it has been tough managing diabetes given his rock and roll lifestyle. He credits his motivation and passion for his ability to fight cravings, test his blood sugar six to eight times a day and exercise regularly.
5. Nick Jonas
Much like Bret Michaels, it’s difficult for Nick Jonas to maintain a healthy regiment to control his diabetes while living the fast-paced lifestyle of a pop sensation. Jonas was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 13 years old and has been struggling daily ever since. Like the other stars on our list, diabetes made him more aware of the importance of a balanced diet and steady exercise.
Nick Jonas is best known for his involvement in the boy band, the Jonas Brothers, where he sang alongside his brothers, Kevin and Joe, until their breakup this fall.