Mary Tyler Moore’s Message to Congress: “Hope Comes from Research”

This past February, actress Mary Tyler Moore took time out from the release of her new film Flirting With Disaster to address the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education subcommittee on the importance of diabetes research.

Moore, who works closely with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, thanked the Subcommittee for its continued support of the National Institutes of Health. She also reminded them that 170,000 Americans will die this year from diabetes and its complications.

“Hope comes from research,” Moore said, urging the subcommittee to keep in mind that “diabetes is a crippler and a killer.”

Discussing her personal battles with type I diabetes, Moore emphasized the medical breakthroughs which have helped her.

“Laser surgery has preserved my eyesight,” Moore explained, “and careful control of my blood sugar reduces the number of painful neuropathy episodes I suffer.”

Moore recounted the horrifying experience she had when she almost lost her foot to amputation. She had accidentally nicked it and a serious infection had developed on the foot before she noticed it.

“For months I was haunted by an image-a me, who always thought of herself as a dancer, a me, who has always been so active-now missing a limb, disabled.” Thanks to new antibiotics and home infusion therapy, Moore’s foot was saved.

She asked the subcommittee to increase funding in order to put an end to the “deadly, crippling disease which touches tens of millions of lives, costs hundreds of billions of dollars and wakes me violently from sleep.”