Mary Tyler Moore Speaks Out on Diabetes: “Chronic disease, like a troublesome relative, is something you can learn to manage but never quite escape. And while each and every person who has type 1 prays for a cure, and would give anything to stop thinking about it for just a year, a month, a week, a day even, the ironic truth is that only when you own it–accept it, embrace it, make it your own–do you start to be free of many of its emotional and physical burdens.” That’s how Mary Tyler Moore started her new book, Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes.
For the last four decades this well loved actress has been living with Type 1 diabetes. This new book was not an idea she pitched to a publisher, but rather the other way around. BuffaloNews.com reports that Philip Revzin, senior editor at St. Martin’s Press was the one who convinced Mary to write the book.
The idea for the book was apparently hatched during a conversation Revzin had with his daughter who just so happens to have Type 1 diabetes. The preface to Mary’s book relates the young lady’s words, “I wish I had a diabetic best friend, someone to talk to about what it’s like to have diabetes, Sometimes I feel, I don’t know, alone. Ya know?”
So Mary Tyler Moore wrote a book about life with diabetes and added memorable moments from her life along the way. The book seemed a better response to Revzin’s daughter than a simple phone call or conversation over tea. It’s also something that can be shared with thousands of others who also suffer from Type 1 diabetes.
The 72 year-old Moore continues to act, but what most television viewers may not know is that her diabetes has given her what she describes as “Tunnel Vision”. The BuffaloNews.com report related an event Mary attended and the difficulties she faced due to her vision problems caused by diabates. “The chic Manhattan restaurant where the soiree is held is dimly lighted, and the partygoers are almost all dressed in black. After climbing a set of stairs in the dark and bumping into people she can’t see, Moore turns to talk to someone, only finding out later that “I was facing away from her, the side of my head being all she could see, as I chatted easily with the darkness. Heaven knows what she thought of the encounter!”
The Internet Movie Database reports that Moore, “Recently testified before Congress calling for an increase in funding for diabetes research and support embryonic stem cell research, which she called ‘truly life affirming.’”
Moore’s new book is not a straight shot at Type 1 diabetes, but how diabetes fit into the life she has lived. In times past Moore was quoted as saying, “Diabetes is an all-too-personal time bomb which can go off today, tomorrow, next year, or 10 years from now – a time bomb affecting millions like me and the children here today.”
Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes is part memoir and part cautionary tale. More has endured more than her fair share of pain losing both siblings and her only son to a variety of incidents. The common thread of forty years has been her diabetes. It appears this has simply been a very heavy thread weaved in her personal tapestry that has created a fond brilliance we always see when Mary takes the stage – or writes a book.