Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry
has joined with EIF (Entertainment Industry Foundation)
and Novo Nordisk (a world leader in diabetes care and
pharmaceutical products) as the first celebrity ambassador
for the Diabetes
Aware campaign, identifying herself as one of 18
million Americans living with the disease.
learned she was a diabetic when she collapsed into a coma
while filming the TV series "Living Dolls." She is now making it her mission to spread the word
to the nearly 5 million Americans who are living with
undiagnosed diabetes. The Diabetes Aware campaign informs
Americans about the importance of diabetes detection,
monitoring and proper management of this progressive
Halle Berry was born on August
14, 1966, in Cleveland, Ohio, to an African American
father and a Caucasian mother. When Berry was 4, her
abusive father abandoned the family. Berry and her mother
and sister moved from their inner-city neighborhood
to the predominantly white Cleveland suburb of Bedford.
This rough start
did not deter Berry from excelling in whatever she did.
She attended a nearly all-white public school where
she was subjected to discrimination at an early age.
Nevertheless, Berry participated in a variety of extracurricular
activities throughout high school, serving as newspaper
editor, class president, member of the honor society,
varsity cheerleader and prom queen.
Berry first came into the spotlight
at 17 years old when she won the Miss Teen All-American
Pageant in 1985, and a year later she was the first
runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant. She was the first
African American to represent the United States in the
Miss World competition.
Berry briefly studied broadcast journalism, but soon
abandoned the field in order to wholeheartedly devote
herself to a career in entertainment. She first moved
to Chicago, then New York City, where she found work
as a catalog model.
She eventually landed her first weekly TV series,
"Living Dolls" (1989), where she gained a
reputation for her on-set tenacity, preferring to "live"
her roles and remain in character even when the cameras
stopped rolling. Her big-screen breakthrough came when
she was cast in Spike Lee’s "Jungle Fever"
(1991). Since then, Berry hasn't slowed down.
Diabetes Aware reports that of the 18 million Americans
living with diabetes today, 5 million don’t even
know it. The incidence of diabetes is expected to double
in the next 25 years. People need to educate themselves
about diabetes, risk factors and how to manage this
serious but treatable disease.
The Diabetes Aware website is designed to teach those
living with diabetes how to manage the disease properly.
It also seeks to inform loved ones about the challenges
sufferers face each day. You can learn about the different
types of the disease, how diabetes progresses and how
you can live a fulfilling life with diabetes. Diabetes
Aware aims to empower people to take action and better
understand what it means to live with diabetes. Further,
the campaign encourages Americans to talk to their doctor
about getting tested. Diabetes, if not treated properly,
can lead to serious complications including blindness,
kidney damage, heart disease and amputations.
There is an extremely simple
way to get involved with Diabetes Aware: by watching
a video. Recently, EIF produced a public service
announcement directed by acclaimed director Jerry Zucker.
The 30-second PSA stars actors Kevin Kline and Jon Lovitz
and features a musical score by Academy-award winning
composer John Powell.
Help empower diabetics to live
well through secure
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