November 14 is World Diabetes Day!
It’s not a secret that African-Americans are disproportionately impacted by the disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, 13.2% of us over the age of 20 have been diagnosed diabetes. Not to mention, we are 1.7 times more likely than our white counterparts to develop diabetes.
And be clear: No one is exempt, including celebrities. From Patti LaBelle to Gabourey Sidibe to Halle Berry, here’s a list of our faves who are battling and managing their own diabetes.
1. Patti LaBelleSource:Getty
Patti LaBelle didn’t know she had diabetes until she passed out on stage back more than 20 years ago. Since her diagnosis, she has written a slew of healthy cookbooks, and she exercises regularly. The “divabetic” — a mix of diabetic and diva — is clear that she wants to live and make her health a priority.
2. Halle Berry
The actress has type 1 diabetes, meaning her body fails to produce enough insulin to break down the body’s sugar for energy. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections and oral medications to control their blood sugar levels. Berry has been an active advocate for diabetes research.
3. Gabourey SidibeSource:Getty
When Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe debuted her slimmer physique in 2017 she admitted that a type-2 diabetes diagnosis played a huge role in her getting laparoscopic bariatric surgery back in 2016. “I truly didn’t want to worry about all the effects that go along with diabetes,” she told PEOPLE. “I genuinely [would] worry all the time about losing my toes.” Gabby says she hits the gym with a trainer and makes better food choices for herself.
4. Damon Dash
The co-founder of Rock-A-Fella Records was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at an early age. As a result, he’s been a strong supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
5. Randy Jackson
In 2001, the former “American Idol” judge learned he had type 2 diabetes after dealing with obesity. Since then, he has lost weight through exercise, dieting and gastric bypass surgery.
6. Sherri Shepherd
The comedian and former co-host of ABC’s “The View” has described her type 2 diabetes diagnosis as life saving because it forced her to change her eating habits and lifestyle.
7. Vanessa Williams
The actress and former Miss America, who has type 1 diabetes, has been an ardent supporter of diabetes charities.
8. Anthony Anderson
The star of ABC’s “Black-ish” television series has type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. It occurs when the body stops producing enough insulin or the cells ignore the hormone produced in the pancreas. Anderson has worked to raise awareness about the disease, especially after losing his father to disease and whose mother has also been diagnosed with diabetes.
9. Dominique Wilkins
The retired NBA All-Star player was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 40. At first, he was in shock and denial about the disease, but that soon changed into action. He is now an active member in the diabetes community, working to educate and raise awareness about the disease.
10. S. Epatha Merkerson
For S. Epatha Merkerson, diabetes has sadly been a family affair. Her father and grandmother both died due to complications of type 2 diabetes, but when the “Chicago Med” actress was diagnosed at 50 she was determined to create a different fate for herself. “My diagnosis was a wake-up call,” she told USA Today. “I knew I had to start making serious changes to my lifestyle to take control of my health.”
11. James Earl JonesSource:Getty
The legendary “Star Wars” actor had no idea he was suffering with type-2 diabetes until he fell asleep on a bench at the gym some 20 years ago. But with his own tenacity and support from his family the 87-year-old has taken control of his health, watches his blood sugar levels and lives a healthier lifestyle. “I can still enjoy many of the foods I love in moderation, but I reach for healthier foods like fresh fruit when I can,” he told “Diabetes Self-Management.”
12. Chaka KhanSource:Getty
For Chaka Khan, getting a diabetes diagnosis in 2011 after a bad breakup “snapped” her right out of her depression. “Diabetes was my new beginning,” she told Health Monitor in 2013. Since then, the iconic singer has dropped 75 pounds, adheres to her medications and lives a much healthier lifestyle, one that does not use food to cope with her emotions.