Jerry Mathers is a TV and stage icon. He was born in 1948 and a native of Sioux City, Iowa. Mathers is best known for his portrayal of a young 1950s suburban boy. Everyone remembers the lovable yet mischievous Beaver Cleaver. Mathers began his acting career when he was just two years old. In his long list of achievements, he was the first actor to receive a percentage of product revenue from a television show. Mathers also had a short musical career where he recorded some songs with this band called Beaver and the Trappers.
Mathers learned in 1996 that he had diabetes. He then lost 45 pounds, and began to lecture about living with diabetes. Mathers understood the importance of the disease and wished to share his knowledge with others faced with diabetes. He became a spokesman for the Johnson and Johnson Company. They design glucose testing meters.
Joe Gibbs, the famous coach and mentor, guided his Washington Redskins to the Super Bowl in 1982, 1987 as well as 1991. This impressive record did not stop there. Gibbs also has 4 NFC championship titles under his belt as well. An exhausted Gibbs retired in 1992. He began to concentrate on his NASCAR racing team. This was the Joe Gibbs Racing that won an astonishing 3 championships. In 2004, Gibbs came out of retirement and again joined his Washington Redskin team. For a second time as the head coach as well as the president of the team. Again in 2008, he retired for good this time; however, Gibbs will still work towards the teams efforts as an adviser.
Gibbs began his life in 1940, from Mocksville, North Carolina. He has had an impressive career life. Nevertheless, after his first retirement in 1992, he found out that he was diabetic. This did not stop Gibbs from accomplishing his career goals. He promised his wife that he would take it easy as well as eat healthy and stay and a regular sleeping schedule. He has had an episode where his glucose levels were in danger. Gibbs made a hospital visit and the medical team gave him the required amount of insulin. He was able to leave the hospital that evening.
Lawrence Harvey Zeiger’s home town was Brooklyn, New York. He was born in 1933 and has had a fantastically active career. King’s first job in at a radio station was a bit of a snore. He was hired to perform small tasks as well as cleaning. This paid off as one of the regular hosts quit and King was put on the air in 1957 in Miami. With the death of his father at a young age, he never went to college. Even though, King had a run in with the law landing him in jail, he straightened his life out. Eventually, in 1985 he obtained his own TV talk show and has been on the air ever since.
Shortly after King began his TV program, he suffered a massive heart attack. This led to other medical problems as well. He had to undergo a quintuple bypass heart surgery. Before this life changing event, he was a heavy smoker. King would light up while interviewing his guests. Since his heart attack, he is a spokesman to halt smoking to prevent cardiovascular disease. King’s life-altering event was when he learned that he had diabetes. Since then, King has invited other celebrities to talk about diabetes on his daily show, an important part of CNN’s prime time line-up.
Johnny Cash is a household name. Even if the music genre was not a person’s style, they would still enjoy Johnny Cash. He was a legend in his own time. Cash was born in 1932 and originally from Kingsland, Arkansas. He was famous for his black suit attire. Even though, Cash has had trouble with the law many years during his life and landed in prison. He still sung songs of hope. This brought joy to many people. Some of his more inspired works include “I Walk the Line”, “Ring of Fire” and “A Boy Named Sue”. He died in 2003 from complications of diabetes. Cash was 71 years old.
Around 1997, Cash began experiencing health problems. He was having issues with autonomic neuropathy. This was a complication related to his diabetes. He was in and out of hospitals; this made Cash stop touring and focus on his family. His loving wife died a few months before he did. She made Cash promise to continue recording all the way to the end. Complications from diabetes have shortened the life of a number of celebrities. If Johnny Cash had not had diabetes, music lovers might have enjoyed his deep voice for a while longer.
Morgan Freeman has been admired through the ages. The native Memphis, Tennessee born actor entered the world in 1937. Freeman’s early life had its ups and downs. However, at the early age of 8 years old, he stole the show by playing the lead in a play at his school. When Freeman was 12, he won a state drama competition in Tennessee which led to his career. He has won various awards including Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild and Film Director. Other awards have been presented to Freeman, throughout the years as well. Some of his most celebrated films include “Driving Miss Daisy”, “The Shawshank Redemption” and “March of the Penguins”. The list of successful productions that he has been a part of go on and on.
Since Freeman has been diagnosed with diabetes, he has become a spokesman for several origination’s. He has written pamphlets, donated time as well as money, spoken at engagements and public service announcements. Morgan Freemen speaks out for diabetes and men’s health issues. He is one of the many celebrities that assist people in understanding juvenile diabetes and helping to find a cure.
Marlon Brando is one of the most renowned actors of all times. He was born in 1924 and native to Omaha, Nebraska. Brando had a turmoil childhood where he was in and out of different school. He excelled in theater and enjoyed performing. The young man has had several menial jobs and only a little family support before he became a star. Brando is famous for his work in “A Street Car Named Desire”, “Guys and Dolls”, and of course the most famous of them all, “The Godfather”. He has won several awards including an Academy Award and an Oscar. Sadly, Brando died in 2004 from pulmonary fibrosis. He was 80 years old.
Towards the end of Brando’s life, he had several health problems. His obesity may have led up to some of his health concerns. Brando had respiratory failure as well as heart failure. It was known after his death than Brando was suffering from deteriorating eyesight due to diabetes. It was also rumored that Brando was diagnosed with senile dementia.
Billie Jean King, formally Billie Jean Moffitt, is an American icon. She was born in 1943, native of California. She has had a successful career. King has won several titles including singles, doubles and mixed doubles. She also won the U.S Open on all four different surfaces—grass, clay, carpet and hard. However, King may be best remembered as the lady that defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes”. Riggs was one of the leading male talents in the 30s and 40s in tennis. Not only is King admired for her tennis skills, she is also an advocate in women’s rights from sports as well as in society. King was also famous for being the first athlete to admit she has had a lesbian relationship. She is 64 years old.
King was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She has founded several origination’s. The Donnelly Award is a scholarship designed for tennis players that have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Overall, King has founded 9 origination’s. She is also a spokesman that offers support and advice for individuals dealing with diabetes and what they can accomplish with this disease.
Arthur Ashe was the first African American to become a member of the U.S Davis Cup team. Ashe entered the world in 1943, native from Richmond, Virginia. He has had a successful career in the tennis field. Ashe began his journey at a young age. He left for Saint Louis because of the segregation of tennis in Richmond. Ache was portrayed in Sports Illustrated. He also won the U.S. Open in 1968 and 1975. In 1985 he was elected to the Tennis Hall of Fame. His life was not always about tennis, he was arrested twice for protesting for civil rights. Ache died in 1993 from complications of AIDS. He was 50 years old.
Ashe gave the tennis world another look at the views of a diabetic. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and still went on with his tennis career. The first major health issue came in the 70s when he experienced a heart attack. Ashe, the active tennis professional, had to receive quadruple bypass surgery. In the 80s, he obtained HIV during a blood transfusion that occurred during a surgery procedure.
Carol Channing was born in 1921, native from Seattle, Washington. Carol Channing was a diabetic who hid from the world her mixed heritage. Channing’s maternal grandfather had been a Nordic German, and her maternal grandmother had been an African American. Channing is a world renowned signer and actress. She began her career in New York City in a show off Broadway. Soon she moved up to Broadway shows which assisted in her acting and signing career. Some of her most famous pieces include “Hello Dolly”, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Alice in Wonderland” in 1984. Channing has won 3 Tony Awards as well as a lifetime achievement award in 1995. She also has been nominated for the Golden Globe and Academy Awards.
Della Reese Patricia Early entered the world in 1931 from Detroit, Michigan. Reese is known for her jazz signing as well as her acting abilities. She began her career in entertainment by singing in Detroit. Later, after 20 performances on the Ed Sullivan Show, she began to get some TV roles. Her songs include “Time After Time”, “And That Reminds Me”, and “Don’t You Know”. Reese’s TV appearances included first African American women to guest host “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson”, “The Royal Family”, as well as her most famous TV show “Touched by an Angle”. Reese is still going strong at 77 years old.
Reese has had a few near miss deaths in her lifetime. She accidentally walked through a glass window and nearly bled to death. Reese needed over one thousand stitches. A brain aneurysm almost took her life when she was filming an episode of “The Tonight Show”. While on set of one of the “Touched by an Angel” episodes she became ill. Reese then learned that she had type 2 diabetes. She was invited to the Larry King show and there is when the public found out about her struggle with diabetes. Reese is an active and vital spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association.