Mary Tyler Moore is Gone, She Will be Missed

Mary Tyler Moore passed today. She was a passionate advocate for diabetes and she herself struggled with complications. She was the international chairwoman of JDRF, lobbied for diabetes research, testified before Congress and did public service campaigns. Her book “Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes” is a must read.

I am truly sorry to hear this news, she was a diabetes hero.


Today we mourn the loss of one the greatest Type 1 advocates… :pensive:

Mary, we want to say THANKS for your hard work and for being a fierce voice for our community. You can read her memoir “Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes”, published in 2009.

One of my favorite quotes:


Posted on my FB page:

I want to stress one of her accomplishments that maybe doesn’t get as much attention as her acting. A lot of people know of her advocacy for diabetes and may be aware she herself was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (used to be called “juvenile”) at age 33. I was 28 when I got it, so I’ve always had a kindred feeling toward her. Thing is, she was diagnosed in 1969. Now, I got it in 1983, and even then a lot of the tools we take for granted didn’t exist, like those finger-stick glucose testers you see ads for all the time, and the insulin we had was much cruder and harder to predict (I used to call it the “Eat Now or DIE” regimen). But things had certainly advanced over what was available in 1969. And she was hit with this life-altering thing just as her TV show was launching and a whole new phase in her career was starting. Like a lot of us she had a rough time dealing with it at first, and as a consequence she did struggle with complications later on. But having been diagnosed when she was and not just surviving but thriving as she did is a huge accomplishment that I can appreciate in a pretty visceral way. Cheers to a woman who made it after all.


I am saddened by her death.

She was a positive role models in many ways.


Yes, so sad. She was also an alcoholic during the time she had T1. Imagine the challenges of keeping any kind of glucose control with the that going on. Her autobiography where she discusses how she coped with the disease is a great read. She will be missed.


Statement from Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston

“All of us at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mary Tyler Moore. As a TV icon, Mary captured the hearts of millions. As a woman living with type 1 diabetes and passionate diabetes research advocate, she graciously lent her voice and changed the lives of millions. Having lived with type 1 diabetes for decades, Mary was a valued partner in the fight against diabetes up until the very end of her life. Her legacy will live on through the groundbreaking research that is being done every day to get us closer to a cure.”

– Dr. Peter Amenta, President and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center


She was one of my role models growing up. Loved her as an actress, as a dancer and above all else a compassionate human being. She never let her diabetes stop her from doing anything. Such a role model! And she will be sorely missed!


I loved watching the Mary Tyler Moore show.

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she meant so much to me both before and after I was diagnosed.


As a non-FB person, appreciate your re-post here - nice tribute.

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It’s very sad to hear of MTM passing. I had known for years she had diabetes and she was active in jdrf long before I was diagnosed but I think it became more relevant for me after my own diagnosis which happened even later in life than hers. I enjoyed her tv shows and acting so much. I saw mtm at an art opening 2-3 years before I knew I also had type 1 but I didn’t get the chance to speak with her then. I received a copy of her diabetes book from Jdrf but I found it too upsetting to read about the complications and I only made it half way through I think.


I remember the day I was diagnosed with T1D. I didn’t know much about it at that point but I knew the world as I knew it was ending. The CDE told me “Mary Tyler Moore has had type one diabetes forever and she’s doing just fine.” I had no idea that was the case. I found so much comfort in knowing this beautiful woman who I’d been aware of my whole life had been able to make it through this, maybe I could too. A hand in life well played. RIP Mary.


Role Model of mine through out my 22 years with T1D. So sad :blue_heart::cry:


Remembering Mary Tyler Moore

I took over a week to write this blog because of the passing of my friend, Rose Schonberger (Shosh). I actually almost had it competed when I heard about Shosh and I had to put this down to focus on my many thoughts about Shoshana. I realize this is old news, but for my blog I do more reflection than news, so I hope this reflection adds to the reader’s remembrance of Mary Tyler Moore.

For me, Mary Tyler Moore represented what it meant to be both successful and a person with Type 1 diabetes. My parents and I watched her program each week and I can recall my mother saying she has type 1 diabetes like I do. Meaning like my mom did. Her apparent health gave me hope and by extension the belief that my mom might be OK. I can recall when I was diagnosed with diabetes that my mom said, you can do anything and Mom used Mary Tyler Moore as an example of a successful person with diabetes.

American feminism defined

Mary Tyler Moore represented American feminism in the 1970’s as America’s most successful middle aged working woman on TV who was not married. The Mary Tyler Moore Show was about adults facing adult issues, in an adult and humorous way. We often forget that the Mary Tyler Moore Show was about women making it in the world without a man to guide them and doing so successfully. It was as much a revelation in sitcoms as was All in the Family, That Girl or the Jefferson’s to name a few.

Mary Tyler Moore was diagnosed with diabetes at age 33 and she embraced being a person with type 1 diabetes during her career. For me, when I was diagnosed in 1974 I learned something about how to say I have diabetes from Mary Tyler Moore. I can say that when I saw such a successful person with type 1 diabetes I related to her career and causes.

In later years I followed Mary Tyler Moore’s struggle with retinopathy and I always marveled at what a remarkable figure she was both for the diabetes community and as a woman who never let diabetes get in her way as an actress or human being.


More than diabetes

But she was about more than just diabetes. She embraced animal rights organizations and commented that she wished to be remembered as an animal rights activist. Most of us are content to be remembered for one thing, let alone two major causes.

Most of my readers know that my mother was very ill with complications from type 1 diabetes beginning in the 1960’s until 1986 when she passed at age 46. When I was 13 and heard Mary Tyler Moore had diabetes it gave me hope that my mother might be ok, hope for my mother’s health was in short supply then. When I heard that Mary Tyler Moore had retinopathy and was using laser treatments like my mother she gave me a belief that my mother might one day see again. When my mother died, Mary Tyler Moore’s advocacy for diabetes causes gave me an example of what I, as a person with type 1 diabetes, should do for my community. When Mary Tyler Moore died last week I cried and said thank you for her 50+ years of service to my community.

I know we have lost a friend of our community, but like many of us who loved her advocacy I feel like I have lost a friend of the family.

t’s a long way to Tipperary,
It’s a long way to go.
It’s a long way to Tipperary
To the sweetest girl I know!