Mary Tyler Moore won American hearts by portraying two famous television characters – Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But for those of us at JDRF and in the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community, it was the real person whose life we cherish and whose passing we mourn today.
Mary Tyler Moore’s legacy is that of a woman who tirelessly committed herself to helping the millions with T1D. She was diagnosed with T1D in 1970 at age 33 and became JDRF International Chairman in 1984 (known then as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Over the past 30 years, Moore educated about and increased awareness of T1D around the world and raised millions of dollars for research that will one day lead to a cure. Among her efforts, Moore was actively involved in JDRF Children’s Congress, sitting alongside children diagnosed with T1D to share their stories with elected officials on Capitol Hill and demonstrate the importance of continued T1D research funding.
With Moore’s passing, our country has lost an advocate, a hero and a woman who “turned the world on with her smile” both on and off screen.