What we can learn from Mary Tyler Moore


Mary Tyler Moore will forever be remembered for her 100-watt smile – and her dedication to helping others. As the International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Moore helped raise billions of dollars for research towards a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Diagnosed with the disease at the age of 33, she demonstrated how to live life fully with a serious disease. Moore passed away January 25, 2017, but her legacy lives on.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), approximately 1.25 million Americans live with Type 1 diabetes – approximately five percent of all diagnosed diabetics.

“Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body stops producing insulin,” explains Ivy Sheehan, with the St. Elizabeth Regional Diabetes Center. “Although it is usually diagnosed early in life, it can affect anyone at any age.”

By controlling blood sugar with the help of insulin and other therapies – including exercise, nutrition and support – adults and young children can lead long, productive lives.



Common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes can be similar to Type 2, according to the ADA:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts, bruises and infections that are slow to heal
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more*
    Very typical in Type 1

Some people even feel like they have the flu before diagnosis, Sheehan explains. “They have a lot of nausea and even vomiting.”



The most important aspect of treating Type 1 diabetes is controlling blood sugar. “The best way to maintain good blood sugar control is with regular blood sugar testing and working with the diabetes team to maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors,” Sheehan says. “Eating healthy, taking medications, not smoking, exercising, controlling stress and being educated about the management of diabetes can prevent or delay the complications associated with high blood sugars.”

The St. Elizabeth Regional Diabetes Center has endocrinologists, nurses and dietitians who are certified diabetes educators, which means they are specially trained to help people manage their diabetes. The program’s educational component is recognized by the ADA standards as a quality diabetes education program. Click the button below to learn more.


mary tyler moore diabetes