JDRF’s latest celebrity signing, writer and performer Jade Byrne

Posted on 14 May 2019

JDRF celebrity ambassador, Jade Byrne

JDRF is delighted to add actor, writer and stage performer, Jade Byrne, to its roster of celebrity ambassadors.

Jade has been raising the profile of type 1 diabetes – and valuable funds for JDRF’s research – through her one-woman stage show, Pricks, which is a personal account of her 30 years living with type 1 diabetes.

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.

The headline-grabbing title refers to the 70,000, and counting, skin pricks that she has had to give herself since being diagnosed with the condition aged four.

Describing it as “a chance to set the record-straight about what type 1 diabetes is” Jade reflects on the confusion and isolation she felt as a young girl, the misconceptions that come from a lack of understanding about what type 1 diabetes is, and the psychological impact that the lifelong condition can have.

Jade first performed Pricks at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last summer and is now on a tour of the UK. It has been described as “breath-taking, incredibly moving and incredibly brave” by another JDRF celebrity ambassador, James Norton.

Here, Jade tells JDRF how she combined heartfelt personal stories, medical ups and downs and humour to create something that would be both uplifting as well as informative: “To write Pricks I worked with over 40 other people with type 1 diabetes, as well as parents of children with the condition, and gathered a wealth of material.

“By including these stories – some sad, some funny and some quite shocking, the show educates people about what it’s like to live with a lifelong illness like type 1 diabetes and what it’s like for your family to deal with. Raising awareness is so important, and something I can do even more of now I am a celebrity ambassador for JDRF.”

JDRF Connect Immune Research

Discover our research

Browse our world-class research projects that will transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes - improving treatments until we find the cure

Our research