Mary Tyler Moore , TV actress, comedienne, JDRF chairwoman, and diabetes advocate with type 1, died on January 25 at age 80 from cardiopulmonary arrest following pneumonia. Toward the end of her life, Moore had dealt with many diabetes complications. She underwent surgery in 2011 to remove a benign brain tumor. She was often too weak to stand and, by 2014, she was almost blind.
Moore was diagnosed with type 1 in 1969 at the age of 33, having to manage her condition for many years with less responsive insulin than is found today. She would not have even been able to check her own blood glucose levels for the first 20 years of her diagnosis. Moore regularly shared how she was very careful with what she ate, how she exercised and that she tested her blood sugar regularly.
In 1984, Moore began volunteering for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, soon becoming its international chairwoman and raising millions of dollars through various functions. She also appeared numerous times before Congress to lobby for further funding. Although, she sometimes called the disease a ‘tremendous burden’ that ‘affects you emotionally as well as physically,’ Moore said she was proud of the awareness she had brought.