Celebrities who are “Putting type 1 diabetes in the picture”
JDRF is grateful to have support from many talented and high-profile celebrities. Their backing is helping to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and the work that we do – just some of them are listed below.
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.
Jade is an actor, writer and stage performer who has lived with type diabetes since she was four.
Having been a professional actor for nine years with TV roles in the BBC’s Casualty, Inspector George Gently and The Dumping Ground, Jade decided the time was right to tell her own, dramatic story, and so wrote her one-woman stage show Pricks – a personal account of her 30 years living with type 1 diabetes.
Jade is committed to raising awareness in order to reduce the confusion and isolation, as well as the myths and misconceptions, that come from a lack of understanding about what type 1 diabetes is – as well as the psychological impact this can have on those with living with the lifelong condition:
“Raising awareness is so important, and something I can do even more of as a celebrity ambassador. This charity and the incredible work it does are very close to my heart and I’m so happy to be on board.”
Jonny Labey, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 15, hasn’t let it get in the way of him soaring to new heights as a dancer, actor and singer. Jonny made his TV acting debut as popular EastEnders character Paul Coker and he included type 1 in his character’s storyline.
But Jonny’s greatest passion in life is dancing. He’s been a dancer since he was 5 years old and went on to graduate from the prestigious Doreen Bird College of Performance. Since then Jonny has gone on to win ITV’s Dance Dance Dance.
He’s also played the lead role as Scott Hastings in Baz Luhrmann’s West End hit musical Strictly Ballroom. In Jonny’s spare time he runs a blog Know Your Type, where he interviews people from all walks of life on their experiences and tips for managing the condition.
Jonny has supported our fundraising events The Secret Garden Dinner and Pro-Celebrity Golf day. He’s joined forces with JDRF to inspire young people to overcome obstacles caused by type 1 and to follow their dreams:
“Everyone with type 1 diabetes should have the self-belief they can achieve whatever they want in life.”
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.”
Rugby star Henry Slade, has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 18.
Henry has not let his condition prevent him from reaching the very top of rugby union and has featured for England in the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup.
Henry supports JDRF and has met some young JDRF supporters to discuss how he deals with type 1 while playing professional rugby. He also shared how he prefers to eat Jelly Babies when his levels go a bit low!
Speaking to JDRF Henry said:
“Obviously it’s a serious condition. There’s no getting around that. But it’s okay as long as you manage yourself. I check my blood sugar levels about eight to ten times a day. I test before every training session and in between as well.”
Comedian Ed Gamblehas 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.”
Professional footballer Ben Coker, is an icon to many in the type 1 diabetes community.
Ben has on a number of occasions met young children with type 1 diabetes who are local to his club, Southend United.
Ben also posed in a onesie for JDRF’s #TypeOnesie campaign.
TV chef and one half of the Hairy Bikers, Si King,is father to a teenager living with type 1 diabetes. He launched a JDRF-supporting weight lost campaign in 2014 and described JDRF-funded research as ‘absolutely fantastic.’
Professional footballer Richard Wood is father to a young son who lives with type 1 diabetes.
Richard, who plays for south Yorkshire side Rotherham United spoke to JDRF in 2016 about helping his son manage type 1 while playing professional football. Richard said:
“I go to every match concerned about Jenson’s type 1. In fact, every day I go into training I think and worry about how he will be.
“I don’t think that will ever change but, luckily, he has a great mum who I have complete trust in and looks after Jenson really well.”
Richard and his Rotherham teammates also donned blue JDRF t-shirts before a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in April 2016.
Downton Abbey stars Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt: “We believe that everyone, including people living with type 1 diabetes, deserves to get the most out of life. JDRF is a wonderful charity doing great things for people affected by the condition.”
Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter: “I had the privilege of hosting a live auction at a Downton Abbey charity dinner for JDRF. The remarkable evening made me realise the impact that living with type 1 diabetes can have on someone’s life. It is a pleasure to help promote JDRF’s mission and help support research into the condition.”
Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville: “It’s really important to get people talking about and understanding type 1 diabetes. That’s why JDRF needs the support of people like you and me, so they can continue to carry out vital research and make important progress in the understanding and treatment of the condition – and move that one step closer to finding a cure.”
Singer Amelia Lilly:
“I have had type 1 diabetes since I was three and it can make even the smallest daily activities a chore.
“I have to think about everything that I do, especially when preparing for a national tour. I support the amazing work that JDRF does, in the strong hope that one day there will finally be a cure!”
Hollywood actor Jude Law:
“Type 1 diabetes can happen to anyone. A child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of five faces up to 19,000 injections and 50,000 finger prick blood tests by the time they are 18.”
“As a father, I can appreciate the strain that could place on a family.
“That’s why JDRF has my full support for greater investment into type 1 diabetes research.
“For both children and adults with the condition, we must push forward to find the cure.”
BAFTA and Oscar nominated The Theory of Everything actress Felicity Jones is a supporter of JDRF. She said:
“Many medical conditions have such a huge impact on daily life. For some the effects are visually obvious to people. But for others – like type 1 diabetes – it’s not.
“It would be wonderful if more people unaffected by type 1 diabetes knew more about it. So if I can do anything to raise awareness – and help bust some myths – then that’s cool!”
Television presenter Dominic Littlewood:
“I have lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 40 years. I may have had 20,000 hypos in my lifetime – that’s more than many people have had hot dinners. It highlights the challenge that this life-long condition represents.”
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.”
Crime thriller novelist Peter James: “Living with type 2, I know from my own experiences of the often unpredictable nature of this disease, the frustrating, restrictive and very dangerous impact that diabetes can have on your life. JDRF’s mission to cure type 1 diabetes is very close to my heart and I hope that this will be achieved one day.”
Rugby star Chris Pennell is a big fan of our #TypeOnesie campaign. His team mates even love it too! Chris is the first professional rugby player living with type 1 diabetes to score a try for England.
Musician Este Haim – part of the international best-selling group ‘Haim’– lives with type 1 diabetes. She said:
“Type 1 diabetes takes a lot of planning. It’s no joke. You’ve got to take it seriously. I know we can help fund a cure together…let’s do this and help me kick this thing in the butt!”
GP and medical television presenter Dr Radha Modgil:
“As a GP and someone who has experience of how type 1 diabetes affects children and their families, I wholeheartedly support the amazing work JDRF does. Let’s do our utmost to raise funds and awareness about diabetes – to find a cure and improve the lives of all those children, young people and families affected by it. We can do it!”