Celebrities With Type 1 Diabetes

Sharing their stories has helped raise awareness

Former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, singer Nick Jonas, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor are just a few celebrities with type 1 diabetes. Their stories are tales of triumph, the importance of diabetes management and support, and more.

Some talk openly to others with type 1 diabetes about their experiences or serve as role models in other ways. Others raise awareness about treatment and the importance of research.

Read on to learn about 10 famous people with type 1 diabetes who have used their fame to improve the lives of people with the condition and otherwise contribute to the cause.


Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Sports

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2008.

Before, during, and after each game, he carefully monitored his blood sugar (glucose) levels.

He wears an insulin pump to help manage his diabetes.

Insulin pump therapy, also known as continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII), is an important and evolving form of insulin delivery that is mainly used for people with type 1 diabetes.


Bret Michaels

Bret Michaels
Ethan Miller/Getty Image Intertainment

Bret Michaels, the lead singer for the band Poison, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 6 years old.

He hasn’t let the diagnosis slow him down, though. In his long music career, he's sold over 25 million records and had 15 Top 40 singles. His creative work has also expanded into film production, writing, directing, and acting.

Michaels prefers to use insulin injections instead of an insulin pump and tests his blood eight times a day.

In 2010, he won the television series The Celebrity Apprentice and pledged his $300,000 award to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).


Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Nick Jonas, the lead singer and guitarist for the Jonas Brothers, was 13 years old when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. His blood sugar was over 700 at the time and required him to be hospitalized to get his blood sugar under control.

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome occurs when your blood sugar level tops 600 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). If left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening dehydration.

It wasn’t until 2007, two years after his diagnosis, that Jonas made a public announcement about having diabetes while playing at a Diabetes Research Institute carnival.

Since then, he has become an inspiration for many young people with diabetes.


Anne Rice

Anne Rice
Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Novelist Anne Rice was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998 after falling into a coma brought on by diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) that nearly claimed her life.

Rice learned to manage her diabetes and continued to have a successful career in publishing until she died from a stroke in 2021.

Rice is most well-known for writing the book "Interview With a Vampire," which was later made into a movie.


Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mary Tyler Moore was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 33 after being hospitalized for a miscarriage.

A routine blood test done during her hospitalization recorded a blood sugar of 750, which prompted the start of insulin therapy.

Pregnant people with diabetes are at a higher risk for complications, including miscarriage and stillbirth.

Moore, who was best known for her years on, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” appeared in many other television shows and movies and was honored with numerous awards.

Moore dedicated several years to promoting diabetes research and served as the International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for several years before her death in 2017.


Elliott Yamin

Elliott Yamin
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Elliott Yamin is best known for his third-place finish in the fifth season of American Idol. Yamin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in his mid-teens.

He admits to being angry and in denial about his diabetes back then, but has accepted the fact that he must manage his blood sugar and currently does so with the use of an insulin pump.

He has become a role model for young people with diabetes and believes in the importance of support from friends and family.


Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sonia Sotomayor is a Justice on the United States Supreme Court and is the first person with type 1 to ever serve on the high court. Sotomayor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven when she began insulin therapy.

Sotomayor attributes her successful diabetes management to being vigilant with insulin injections and testing her blood sugar level often.

Carrying glucose tablets wherever she goes is another key to maintaining her high-powered career.

It's estimated that around 8.5 million Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed.


Gary Hall Jr.

Gary Hall Jr.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images Sport

Olympian swimmer Gary Hall Jr. is an accomplished competitive swimmer. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999. With four Olympic medals already in hand, his doctors told him that his swimming career was over.

However, Hall was determined to prove them wrong. He had to learn to increase his stamina without getting fatigued, which required him to get out of the water and check his blood sugar levels every 45 minutes.

In 2000, he was recognized as the fastest swimmer in the world, In 2008, Hall retired with 10 Olympic medals, five of them gold.

Hall is a member of the JRDF and regularly speaks to young people with diabetes, emphasizing that their goals can be accomplished despite the fact that they live with diabetes.


Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Nicole Johnson was diagnosed with type 1 in 1993, and her doctors told her to avoid competitive beauty pageants.

Instead, she went on to place as third-runner up in Miss Florida USA in 1997, and became Miss Virginia in 1998. She then went on to win the Miss America pageant in 1999.

By that time, Johnson had already started to advocate for diabetes awareness. She was the first person with diabetes to win Miss America and the first contestant to show their insulin pump.

Today, she serves on various health advisory committees along with working with the ADA and the JDRF.


Este Haim

A portrait of Este Haim performing and playing the bass.


Este Haim was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 14. She had been experiencing symptoms like weight loss and extreme thirst when she was learning about diabetes in her biology class.

Putting two and two together, she said she immediately went to the nurse convinced that she knew what was wrong—and it turned out she was right.

Since then, Este has talked a lot about the challenges of trying to manage diabetes while on tour with her sisters in their band HAIM. They also perform at events to raise money for diabetes charities.


Type 1 diabetes affects people from all walks of life—even famous people. Luckily, some well-known people who have type 1 diabetes use their position and privilege to bring awareness to the condition and support efforts to improve the lives of people who have it.

9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. Diabetes Health. Getting personal with Bret Michaels.

  4. Pasquel FJ, Umpierrez GE. Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state: a historic review of the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment. Diabetes Care. 2014;37(11):3124-31. doi:10.2337/dc14-0984

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 1 or type 2 diabetes and pregnancy.

  6. Atkinson MA, Nierras CR. Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017): Diabetes educator and advocate. Diabetes Care. 2017;40(6):732-735. doi:10.2337/dci17-0015

  7. Contemporary Pediatrics. US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor recounts her lifelong experiences in managing type 1 diabetes.

  8. American Diabetes Association. Statistics about diabetes.

  9. International Olympic Committee. Olympic champion Gary Hall Junior lifts the lid on succeeding with type 1 diabetes.

By Gary Gilles
Gary Gilles is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) who has written about type 1 diabetes and served as a diabetes counselor. He began writing about diabetes after his son's diagnosis as an infant.