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.
Nick Jonas was born in 1992 from Wyckoff, New Jersey. He is the lead signer as well as plays guitar in the band him and his bothers started together, Jonas Brothers. Jonas began his career at the early age of 6. He was directed to an agent after been seen singing in a barber shop. Jonas’s career did not only entail signing, he acted on Broadway in a variety of plays. These include “A Christmas Carol”, “The Sound of Music” and “Les Miserables”. As his career moved forward, he began writing Christian music and received a record contract. He is 16.
In 2005, a young Nick Jonas got some startling news. He learned that he had type 1 diabetes. He got that diagnosis while on tour with the Jonas Brothers. The band was playing at a Diabetes Research Institute’s carnival when he made the shocking announcement that he does in fact have type 1 diabetes. Later he put out this statement: “I want to let kids know that it doesn’t have to be so hard. The most important thing is to never ever let yourself get down about having diabetes.”
Bret Michael Sychak entered the world in 1963, native to Butler, Pennsylvania. Michaels’s career has been going strong since the 80s. His first band was called Paris which later became Poison. It was a hard rock sensation that lasted through the 80s. Some of there songs include “Nothin’ but a Good Time”, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Your Mama Don’t Dance”. Michaels has a reality TV show called, “Rock of Love”. He also has ventured into movie productions and began his own company.
Michaels was only 6 years old when the doctors told him that he had diabetes. He had to stay in the hospital for two months, while the doctors tried to determine his blood sugar levels. He has been shown in “Behind the Music” and other specials using a syringe. This led many people to believe he was a drug abuser. However, he was using his insulin.
David Wells was born in 1963 from Torrance, California. He is famous for his pitching skills. Wells has been a successful pitcher for several teams beginning with Toronto Blue Jays in 1987 and his latest team is the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007. With the nickname Boomer, he has been dubbed the best left-handed pitcher in baseball. On March 17, 1998 Wells had earned public recognition. He was the 15th pitcher in the history of the MLB to pitch a perfect game.
Wells was lucky enough to enjoy a childhood that did not include tests of his blood sugar level. In the spring of 2007, David Wells made a public announcement, letting everyone know that he has Type II diabetes. Wells was determined to take the necessary lifestyle changes in order to try and beat the disease.
Mary Tyler Moore has been an icon in the television world as well as a spokeswoman for diabetes. She was born in 1936, a native of Brooklyn, New York. Moore is most famous for her roles in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” as well as “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. She began her career at the tender age of 17. Moore got her start on television commercials that were played during the most popular sitcoms at the time. She has been in film as well as stage performances. Through her career, she has been honored with a statute and awards. She is still making appearances in TV and movies.
Moore, who has type 1 diabetes, spoke before a Congressional committee, on behalf of all diabetics. On June 24, 2003, she gave this testimony:”For most of you, blood sugar balance is as automatic as breathing. But for people with juvenile diabetes, like me, it requires vigilance 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.” She has done commercials and assists in opening peoples eye to the dangerous that diabetes can cause. While Moore is fighting for a cure for the diabetes disease, she has almost completely lost her sight as well as one of her limbs.
Kelli Kuehne is a famous golfer diagnosed with diabetes. She was born in 1977 from Dallas, Texas. The Kuehne family is full of famous golfers as well. Her two bothers activity plays the sport and wins tournaments. Kuehne has been a part of several championship matches including United States Girl’s Junior Amateur, United States Women’s Amateur and the British Ladies Amateur. She has won all three titles. Kuehne began the professional tour and finally won the LPGA Corning Classics in 1999.
A majority of athletes with diabetes have made public statements about their condition. Kuehne is one of those people. She has been dealing with diabetes since the early age of 10. On May 18, 2003, Kuehne said this: “My biggest goal in life is to help diabetic children understand that because they have the disease they need to take care of themselves, see a dietitian and get plenty of knowledge about the illness.”
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.