This month’s cover features an especially inspiring group of people. All of them have diabetes, but it hasn’t stopped a single one from achieving pinnacles in their careers and taking their dreams further than most people even dream of.
Sort through screen stars and you’ll find Jerry Mathers, star of “Leave it to Beaver,” and Mary Tyler Moore, who helmed one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. Six-time Grammy winner Jose Feliciano hasn’t been slowed down by diabetes, and it didn’t stop ’80s guitar legend Bret Michaels from leading his group Poison to the top of the charts. Nicole Johnson has emerged as one of the most outspoken Miss Americas since she captured the crown in 1999.
And did we mention the athletes? Having diabetes has not stopped NBA center Chris Dudley from pulling the New York Knicks into the playoffs year after year, or prevented NFL all-pro Jay Leeuwenberg from starting almost every game in his nine-season career. Pitching legend Catfish Hunter had diabetes, and Billie Jean King is still revered in tennis circles. Since being diagnosed with diabetes, Olympic champion swimmer Garry Hall Jr. broke the time that earned him a silver medal in 1996, and is preparing to do it again in Sydney this year. Ballerina Zippora Karz performed in some of the New York City Ballet’s most prestigious roles before her retirement. Kelli Kuehne’s most important piece of equipment, as she dominates the LPGA circuit, is her insulin pump.
Reach for the Stars
Fortunately, a click of the mouse is now all that separates curious minds from finding out all of the famous people who have diabetes.
“We decided to start the Web site because we wanted to encourage others to reach for the stars,” say Angela and Rose Goode, of Pineville, West Virginia, Web masters of the Famous Diabetics Web site (www.angelarose.com/FamousDiabetics). “We wanted to show that dreams can come true no matter what obstacles get in the way. We want others to know that they are not alone.”
Diabetes in all Walks of Life
Looking at the Web site, you realize that having diabetes shouldn’t stop you from writing prize-winning novels or creating beautiful paintings.
The site covers dancers, politicians, world leaders, writers and artists. People with diabetes have greatly improved the world and continue to do so through major achievements in many fields.
Soon to be Famous
The “Soon-to-be-Famous” section is the biggest list on the site. Everybody has an opportunity to talk about his or her achievements, from getting an A in sixth grade to gaining a management position at his or her company.
The soon-to-be-famous also get the chance to talk about their own philosophies, on life and diabetes.
Many of the site’s famous people have died from diabetes complications, and it says so right under their names. Angela and Rose want to inspire people, but they don’t want to hide reality.
Angela sees the Web site as a labor of love for all people with diabetes.