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Home > About JDRF & our impact > Our network > Celebrity supporters
Nina Wadia is an actress who has starred in many hit TV shows including Goodness Gracious Me, EastEnders, Still Open All Hours and will soon be on screens in BBC One’s Death in Paradise. In September 2017, her son Aidan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 10 – something Nina admits to struggling with more than him, as she explains here: “There is no one braver in my life than my son. It is really tough to live with type 1, and the diagnosis was a terrible shock, but it is not the end of the world. Aidan has helped me to see that. “A doctor told us we can still expect our son to have a great life, due to all the medical technology there now is to help. I am incredibly grateful for the research that JDRF funds towards this.” Nina has recently taken part in Celebrity Catchphrase and Celebrity Tipping Point, donating her winnings to JDRF both times.
Actor James Norton was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November 2010. The star of Grantchester, War and Peace and Happy Valley did not let type 1 diabetes prevent him from bursting onto the acting scene not long after his diagnosis and is now one of the UK’s leading actors. James supports JDRF and lent his support to the 2016 #T1DLooksLikeMe campaign, filtering his Twitter profile picture and sharing his ‘DiaDigits’. Speaking on World Diabetes Day 2016 as an ambassador for JDRF, James said: “I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2010 when I was near the start of my acting career. Managing the condition is a challenge, but I haven’t let it get in my way! “I’m proud to support JDRF and its #T1DLooksLikeMe campaign.”
Fitness legend Mr Motivator supports JDRF campaigns, including the 100 Challenge which raised over £120,000 for type 1 diabetes research. Mr Motivator, whose daughter has type 1 diabetes, has also shared his tips on how to exercise with type 1 with JDRF supporters. Mr Motivator says: “As a father of a daughter with type 1 diabetes, I hope that, one day, research will lead to a cure”
Comedian Ed Gamble has supported JDRF by taking part in events and campaigns to raise awareness of the condition and raise funds to support type 1 research The star of Mock The Week and Almost Royal took part in the Royal Parks half marathon for JDRF in October 2015. Ed also took part in JDRF’s #Type1derWoman campaign in March 2016, naming his girlfriend and mother as a #Type1derWoman and posted his support on Twitter. In 2017 Ed will run the London Marathon for JDRF. As part of his fundraising Ed hosted a comedy evening which featured performances by Aisling Bea, Milton Jones, Josh Widdicombe, Joel Dommett, Nish Kumar and Lolly Adefope at a sold out show in Putney, west London.
Hollywood actor Jeremy Irvine, who is a JDRF supporter, has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of six. He said: “When the chance came for me to take part in early artificial pancreas trials a few years ago, I jumped at the opportunity. “I wanted to play my own very small part in moving the artificial pancreas closer to reality.” Speaking of the JDRF-funded scientists behind the research, Jeremy said: “They are my heroes.”
Rapper, DJ, record producer and Love Island finalist Marcel Somerville was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2020. He supported JDRF’s One Night In fundraising event in 2021 with a DJ set that got everyone dancing in their living rooms.
Sky News presenter Stephen Dixon, who lives with type 1 diabetes, said: “I’ve always refused to let type 1 diabetes hold me back. But minimising the effects of the condition does take considerable effort. I always carry Glucogel or a snack around with me in case I feel the symptoms of a hypo come on – which has happened when I’ve been on air.” Speaking of JDRF’s artificial pancreas project, he said: “It is very exciting technology and I look forward to the time when I can use one myself as part of day-to-day life.”
British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has supported JDRF with performances at fundraising events, including the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair auction and Secret Garden Fundraising Dinner. Sheku was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. It hasn’t held him back – he won the BBC Young Musician award in 2016 and also played at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Adam Smith is a Sky Sports presenter whose roles include hosting his own weekly show Saturday Social as well as presenting Kings of the Premier League on Friday evenings and The Debate. He also conducts regular weekly interviews with some of the biggest names in the Premier League as well as co-hosting regular shows on TalkSport radio. Adam has also hosted a string of live events including presenting KSI vs Logan Paul from Los Angeles, the opening ceremony for the first ever game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and hosting a special one off event for the Queen’s 90th Birthday at Windsor Castle. Adam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2015 and says it has “completely changed his life”. Adam has a large fan base on social media and has supported several of JDRF’s campaigns, including our type 1 myth-busting campaign during Diabetes Week and our BBC Lifeline Appeal. He’s committed to raising awareness of type 1, to dispel any stigma and misinformation about the condition and to help JDRF support and inspire everyone in the type 1 community.
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