Beloved actress and longtime activist Mary Tyler Moore passed away last week at the age of 80. And while no cause of death was immediately available, Moore was outspoken for many years about her Type 1 diabetes and the struggles she faced since she was diagnosed at age 33.
In a statement, Moore’s spokesperson talked about her being “a groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.” She had served as International Chairman for the foundation, now known as JDRF, since 1984.
“Mary Tyler Moore’s legacy is that of a woman who tirelessly committed herself to helping the millions with T1D,” said JDRF in a statement. “Over the past 30 years, Moore educated about and increased awareness of T1D around the world and raised millions of dollars for research that will one day lead to a cure. Among her efforts, Moore was actively involved in JDRF Children’s Congress, sitting alongside children diagnosed with T1D to share their stories with elected officials on Capitol Hill and demonstrate the importance of continued T1D research funding.”
ABC new reports:
According to the National Institutes of Health’s MedlinePlus magazine, Moore’s frequent lobbying visits to Congress over the years helped increase JDRF’s research budget to more than $1 billion.
Moore became active in diabetes advocacy after she was diagnosed with the lifelong disease herself. In 1997, she told the Archive of American Television that her diabetes was discovered when she was in the hospital after suffering a miscarriage.
“While normal blood sugar levels are to be somewhere between 70 and 110, mine was 750,” she said. “They were amazed I was still walking around. And to this day they don’t know which came first, the miscarriage or the diabetes—which caused the other’s onset.”
Moore later told MedlinePlus that she was “incredulous” when she first received her diagnosis. “I was, after all, a very healthy and active adult, and I didn’t ever expect something like that to happen to me,” she said in 2006.
Read more from ABC’s report here.