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Movies About Type 1 Diabetes

Movies & Media Misrepresent 'the Sugar Sickness'

Movies & Media Misrepresent 'the Sugar Sickness'

Is there something in the water? Seriously... it's like there's a contagion out there at the moment spreading misinformation about diabetes. Sadly, movies and media missing the point is nothing new for the Diabetes Community. It happens all too often. But some recent high-profile examples demonstrate the continuing battle we face combatting myths and misconceptions around our disease. First, there's a new NBC show ironically titled Do No Harm (a reference to the Hippocratic oath that all physicians take) which premiered in January, featuring a brilliant neurosurgeon who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde syndrome causing his alter ego to come out and wreak havoc between 8:25 p.m. and 8:25 a.m. every night. The neurosurgeon happens to be living with diabetes (no type distinguished, but it appears to be type 1) and so before being cleared for surgery he must check his blood sugar by sticking his finger into some futuristic hospital-version meter the size of a table top (was this FDA approved, we wondered?!). He apparently uses his diabetes as an excuse for why he can't work nights but must restrict his doctoral duties to the daytime hours. At one point, his alter ego gets into the hospital one night and thanks to being hopped up on adrenaline, tests at 325 mg/dL -- so the hospital collegues freak out, demanding emergency insulin because he's hyperglycemic and going into "diabetic shock." WTF? At just over 300? So, there's that. Fellow D-Blogger Cara Richardson wrote a great post recently with her thoughts on the show, too. Then we've got the latest nonfiction snafu: a news story circulating in which a Chicago reporter got it wrong when reporting about a 7-year-old girl who took the hero role when her mom was having a low blood sugar w Continue reading >>

7 Times Tv And Movies Got Diabetes Wrong

7 Times Tv And Movies Got Diabetes Wrong

WRITTEN BY: K. Thor Jensen One of the most frustrating things about living with diabetes is the massive amount of misinformation that’s floating around. It seems like almost every person you meet has some crazy idea about what causes it or how you treat it. Where does that misinformation come from? In many cases, the media. TV shows and movies have used diabetes either as a cheap way to ramp up drama or as a lousy, lazy punchline in comedies for years. Come with us as we spotlight seven of the absolute worst offenders. 1 – Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters This absurd action flick shows what happens when you try to apply logic to the fairy tale world. Hansel, played by Jeremy Renner, has grown into an adult “witch hunter” with a “sugar sickness” caused by eating too much candy as a child. In between fights, he needs to inject insulin to bring his blood sugar down. Instead of monitoring his blood glucose with a finger prick or a diabetic alert dog, Hansel instead takes regular insulin injections when his watch alerts him, no matter his carb count or level of physical activity. We’re not saying that we needed him to explain his IC ratio on camera, but they could have handled it a little better. 2 – Do No Harm This short-lived NBC drama told the tale of a high-powered neurosurgeon afflicted with an evil split personality that took over from 8:25 PM to 8:25 AM. While T1Ds who go low can often seem like completely different people, that’s not what put Do No Harm into the hall of shame. The protagonist explained his inability to be on call in the evenings by saying he has diabetes, and despite working in a hospital, nobody calls him on how ludicrous that excuse is. Everything about the way the show handled T1D was insane, from the massive blood glucose reader Continue reading >>

List Of Films Featuring Diabetes

List Of Films Featuring Diabetes

There is a body of films that include a character with diabetes as part of the plot. In the late twentieth century, most films' references to diabetes were minor. Characters with diabetes were developed in plots in which the disease "played a more significant role" in films such as Steel Magnolias and Panic Room.[1] Dr. Kevin L. Ferguson discussed such films in the Journal of Medical Humanities and reported, "Films that represent diabetes must work around the disease's banal invisibility, and images of diabetics in film are especially susceptible to metaphor and exaggeration."[2] Everyday Health reported, "Sometimes, filmmakers get it wrong: mixing up different types of diabetes, imagining symptoms or complications that aren't accurate, or unfairly portraying another aspect of the condition."[3] List of films[edit] Film Year Description 12 Feet Deep 2017 The American thriller film features twin sisters who are trapped in a swimming pool under a fiberglass pool cover. One of the sisters has diabetes and needs an insulin shot to avoid slipping into a coma.[4] 150 Milligrams 2017 The French drama film is based on the real-life French pulmonologist Irène Frachon who fought between 2009 and 2011 to reveal that a diabetes drug was life-threatening.[5] Alma 1999 A documentary film about Alma Thorpe, whose primary condition is schizophrenia, but she also has diabetes.[6] Ambulance, TheThe Ambulance 1990 A rogue doctor in an ambulance kidnaps people with diabetes for his experiment.[7] The Baby-Sitters Club 1995 A teenage girl deals with managing her type 1 diabetes.[8] Beats, Rhymes & Life 2011 A documentary film about the band A Tribe Called Quest, including Phife Dawg, who has diabetes.[6] Big Nothing 2006 In the black comedy film, criminals kill an FBI agent with diabetes b Continue reading >>

Injecting Movies With Type 1 Diabetes

Injecting Movies With Type 1 Diabetes

What if Hollywood blockbusters included more characters with diabetes? Frozen…Insulin Diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, Princess Elsa of Arendelle was taught by her crass father, the king, to keep her hands covered with gloves so nobody would see the small scars from repeated blood glucose tests. Elsa also can make snow come out of her fingertips, but no one really cares about that. Hearing rumor across the land of a possible cure for diabetes, the king and queen set sail. Months go by, yet the royal parents never return. (Truth to tell, Elsa might be better off without them.) Eventually crowned queen of Arendelle, Elsa still struggles with displaying her diabetes in public. At the coronation party, a small drop of blood spreads on the fingertip of Elsa’s white glove and guests take notice. Frightened of what they’ll think, Elsa flees, leaving her sister behind, and escapes to the snowy mountains. Free for the first time, Elsa tosses her gloves to the wind, but forgets that her insulin would be unusable if it freezes. It is up to her sister, Anna, to bring Elsa insulin in an insulated pack and try to convince her to return to the kingdom and educate others about Type 1. E.T.T1 After an extraterrestrial is stranded on Earth, he must survive new horrors like child-Drew Barrymore’s cuteness long enough for his alien brethren to rescue him. However, unbeknownst to his newfound human friends, this alien is suffering from diabetes. He attempts to communicate with them, but “E.T. phone home” apparently does not translate to, “Please prick my finger and test my blood sugar, I think I might be running high.” Will his new friends figure out how to work his meter in time? Titanic Bolus Young and aristocratic Rose boards the RMS Titanic and falls in love with Continue reading >>

“sugar Does Not Cause Diabetes”: Did The Film What The Health Get It Right?

“sugar Does Not Cause Diabetes”: Did The Film What The Health Get It Right?

The documentary What the Health is receiving a huge amount of attention and most of it is positive. Many reports of people attempting to eat better are filling social media. I discussed the film on a local TV station in Detroit after two reporters indicated that the movie had made a big impact on their diets. There have even been reports that restaurants serving healthier fare have seen an uptick in customers attributing the change to the film. I have seen this in my own plant-based restaurant and have a What The Health Happy Hour that has been very popular. Naturally, there have been critics of the movie defending their viewpoint that meat based diets are healthy, but most have rallied around a statement in the film by Neal Barnard, MD that “sugar does not cause diabetes”. As the answer to this question may be important to you, I have done some research and share it here but this is in NO way an endorsement to add back soda and candy bars to your diet. In a world stressed by growing obesity and its medical consequences, limiting sugar is a universal recommendation from all health experts. 1) Type 1 diabetes is not caused by sugar. All agree on this as type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease leading to destruction of the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. However, patients with type 1 diabetes can develop and reverse insulin resistance (IR) in their muscles and liver so understanding the origin of IR is important. 2) Who is Neal Barnard, MD? Dr. Barnard is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Medicine and an adjunct associate professor of medicine there. He has published over 70 scientific publications (including long term studies on diet and diabetes) and 18 books including several New York Times bestsellers on health and diabe Continue reading >>

Panic Room (2002)

Panic Room (2002)

Corrected entry: When Jodie Foster sets the propane alight, she tells her daughter to get under the fireproof blanket, and then gets under one herself. However, she only covers the lower half of her body, so if the propane had set fire to the rest of the room hiding under the blankets would have been pretty pointless. Corrected entry: In the scene where Forest Whitaker finally drills the lock on the safe. He slides the magnetic drill press out of the way with the magnet still on. The camera zooms in on the orange light that indicates that the magnet is on. Corrected entry: When the mother and daughter were in the panic room and the daughter was going through the containers you see M.R.E.'s (Meals Ready to Eat) in there. Later in the movie, the daughter needs sugar to keep up her sugar level but they couldn't find anything sweet. In an M.R.E. there is chocolate in each one. She would have known this because she opens one up which is laying on the ground as the mother is searching for something for her daughter. Correction: The spirit of the error is basically correct, but as an ex-Army man who ate my fair share of MREs, I had to question the statement "there is chocolate in each one". This statement is false, as can be seen from the menu information provided at It would be more correct to say there would be something sugary/sweet in each one, but there are caveats here too. The Corned Beef Hash menu (circa 1991) for example, contains freeze dried fruit cocktail and cocoa powder, both of which require some prep work to safely consume and are not ideal for someone in a hurry (a person having a fit is likely to choke on powder or unmoistened freeze dried material). Speaking in general nothing can be said conclusively on what might be found in the MREs, but if someone can re Continue reading >>

The Story

The Story

The Human Trial is a feature-length documentary with unprecedented, real-time access to one of America’s top labs — ViaCyte in San Diego. This groundbreaking film follows the team’s triumphs and failures in the lab as they attempt to make medical history at a landmark clinical trial in 2015. More than 90 years after the discovery of insulin, ViaCyte has received FDA approval to launch the first ever-human trial of a stem-cell derived treatment that might cure type 1 diabetes. ViaCyte’s trial is only the third ever in the US, and the sixth ever in the world to use embryonic stem cell therapy to cure a disease. Only a decade ago America was torn apart by a political and religious debate about the ethics of using human embryos for stem cell research. Now, The Human Trial is filming the first six months of the first phase of the trial, to document every step of this remarkable moment in medical science. One donated human embryo might be the cure for millions of people suffering from diabetes. But, more than that, the film provides context for what it took to get here: the years of research, by scores of scientists working in other facilities around the world; and the extraordinary costs of getting a new drug to market — on average, $2.9 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Already four years in production, The Human Trial brings to life the human realities of diabetes, which causes a death every seven seconds and will be the leading cause of death in the US by 2030. With exclusive access to the patients who are the subjects of Phase I/II of the trial, the film illuminates the emotional, physical and financial costs of diabetes that is a $612 billion health expenditure worldwide. It’s a rare opportunity to capture how science, commerce and politics intersect, a Continue reading >>

Diabetes In The Movies

Diabetes In The Movies

The only movie I’ve ever seen in which diabetes plays a prominent role is Christopher Nolan’s 2000 thriller Memento. The protagonist of this film, Leonard, looses his short-term memory, but his diabetic wife thinks he’s faking. To force him to stop “pretending,” she asks him to give her an injection of insulin. He does so. A few minutes later, she tells him again: “It’s time for my insulin.” Leonard repeatedly injects her with insulin until she goes into a coma and dies. When I saw this movie for a high school assignment, I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with diabetes, but my brother had. My mom made a reassuring assessment of the movie’s plotholes (Once Leonard has given his wife several injection, wouldn’t she finally realize he’s not faking his condition and drink some orange juice? If Leonard saw his wife going into a coma, wouldn’t he call an ambulance?) Still, I found the movie very disturbing. It reminded me that diabetics are constantly vulnerable, despite every attempt to manage their condition as well as possible. After watching Memento, I’ve never felt the desire to watch another movie about a diabetic. This is partly just my taste; while some people find it comforting to watch movies that address their health issues, I’m usually more of an escapist–I’m not sure I’d seek out a movie about a diabetic character even if the portrayal wasn’t depressing. Still, watching Memento made me curious. Were there any other movies about diabetics? My google search of “diabetics” and “movies” yielded a list from dLife.com of several movies with diabetic characters. From the accompanying short description of each, I found out that there are films with diabetic characters in all different genres. You can see the full list here. In most Continue reading >>

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Diabetes In Movies

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Diabetes In Movies

While testing blood sugar, having lows, and shooting insulin might be daily life for you, it’s an action-escalating, drama-creating plot device for the writers and directors of Hollywood. You’ve probably caught at least one TV episode or movie scene about diabetes that got your eyes rolling, but you’ll be happy to know it isn’t all bad (okay, a lot of it is really bad though). You probably won’t be directing anyone to Netflix if diabetes education is your goal, but it’s still helpful to know what kind of info people are getting about your condition from their screens. The good Nothing seems to capture the true day-to-day struggle with diabetes, but some of the scripted portrayals at least hit some of the major points. The Godfather III (1972) might not be the best installment in the trilogy, but Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) does offer a pretty convincing portrayal of what living with diabetes is like. As the mobster weakens in his old age, he is diagnosed with diabetes and offers realistic symptoms like weakened eyesight and a moment where he has a low, has to sit down for a minute, and requests some orange juice or candy. Maybe you haven’t ever been a part of a crime family, but yeah, you’ve probably had to ask someone to bring you some juice before. He even explains at one point that stress affects his numbers. Maybe once Corleone left his life of crime he should have become a diabetes advocate? The portrayal is probably decently realistic because the late Godfather trilogy screenwriter, Mario Puzo, had diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t end well for every character on screen, which isn’t always the most uplifting thing for someone struggling with the disease, but at least the film Chocolat (2000) does show the dangers of ignoring a diabetes diagnosis. Yes Continue reading >>

Student Films About Type 1 Diabetes In School

Student Films About Type 1 Diabetes In School

Created by 11-17 year olds as part of the2015 Diabetes in School Short Film Competition, these three-minute films show what life with Type 1 diabetes is really like for children and young people, and what care parents and teachers should expect at school. You could use these videos by: sending them to other families living with diabetes showing one in a school assembly sending them to people you know showing at any diabetes or education events to help inform teachers, school staff and volunteers. Get in touch and let us know which videos you’re showing, we can provide downloads or DVD copies and let us know anything you’d like to see in future videos by emailing us [email protected] Myths about Type 1 diabetes Rasing awareness Inspirational Living with diabetes / Day in the life Continue reading >>

Movie Fundraiser Aims To Help Kids Dealing With Diabetes

Movie Fundraiser Aims To Help Kids Dealing With Diabetes

BRIGHTON’S Ariya McDonald wants to ultimately find a cure for Type 1 diabetes but for now will settle for a movie fundraiser on Sunday, November 19. The 10-year-old is hosting an advance screening of Paddington Bear 2 to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Camp Diabetes. Ariya said kids should bring their teddy bears to the movie night. “People like going to the movies and getting a famous movie a month early is really good,” she said. “Millions of people have Type 1 diabetes and I know how they feel. “I want to help all those people, because it sucks so I wanna get rid of it.” Teddy bears are a special theme for the St Kieran’s Primary School student, who has hosted many teddy bear picnic fundraisers in the past. This is because children diagnosed with the auto-immune condition are given a teddy to show where they can inject insulin, to regulate their blood glucose levels. “Ruby is a diabetes bear, and when you get diagnosed you get a Ruby or Rufus bear which is a teddy you can practise your injections on, or cuddle if you feel like it,” Ariya said. Ariya’s mother Sarah McDonald said each night at midnight and 2am they have to do blood glucose tests because if it gets too low it can be life threatening. “We haven’t slept properly in four and a half years and it would be great to not have to worry about Ariya every time she goes to sleep,” she said. “Ariya’s amazing, she’s the bravest person I know.” Ariya’s Type 1 Diabetes Fundraiser will be held at Hoyts Redcliffe - Peninsula Fair Shopping Centre on Anzac Ave, Kippa-Ring at 2pm for a 2.30pm movie on Sunday, November 19. For tickets go to eventbrite.com.au and search for JDRF Movie Fundraiser. Continue reading >>

10 Memorable Diabetic Movie Characters – In Honor Of World Diabetes Day

10 Memorable Diabetic Movie Characters – In Honor Of World Diabetes Day

20 years ago, World Diabetes Day was introduced by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization “in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses.” It is held every November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, one of the men credited with discovering insulin. 8.3% of the U.S. population has diabetes, and it’s the seventh leading cause of death here, with more than 200,000 people dying from complications of the disease each year. Many famous people suffer from some form of diabetes, including George Lucas, Halle Berry, Mary Tyler Moore and Wilford Brimley. And many others have died as a result, usually through its effects, such as James Cagney, Mae West, Johnny Cash, Syd Barrett and Thomas Edison. Even though this is a very serious matter and I primarily want us to remember those who’ve lost their life to diabetes, I also want to recognize some movie characters who suffered because they were diabetic, mostly those who succumbed to the disease. Films often get us to think about things we ignore in real life, so you might be more familiar with the following people, some fiction and some nonfiction, than any diabetics actually around you on a daily basis. The following list is just for fun, but don’t let that take away from the gravity of the cause or my greater sincerity towards it. Mario Puzo, who wrote the original “Godfather” novel and co-wrote the screenplays to all three of the films, was himself a diabetic. Perhaps this was the reason he had Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) suffer from the disease in the final installment. While he seems to ultimately die of natural causes, throughout this film he is seen with diabetic symptoms. He needs to have juice and cookies at one point, claim Continue reading >>

32 Famous People With Type 1 Diabetes

32 Famous People With Type 1 Diabetes

Test strips, blood sugar monitors, and insulin pumps are all part of a day in the life of someone living with Diabetes. Several famous actors, musicians, and athletes have Type I Diabetes. Some of these celebrities were diagnosed with diabetes when they were children, while others developed the disease later on in life. Who is the most famous person with Type I Diabetes? Sharon Stone tops our list. The "Basic Instinct" star was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. Mary Tyler Moore was diagnosed with Type I diabetes around the time she was filming "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." She is now an outspoken advocate who brings awareness to the disease. "American Idol" alum Crystal Bowersox has been hospitalized due to complications with Type I diabetes. Several famous men also have Type I diabetes. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 2008. Poison front man Bret Michaels was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when he was 6 years old. Pop star Nick Jonas was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 2005. In 1957, Jackie Robinson was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. Are you surprised that so many celebrities have Type I diabetes? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Continue reading >>

Type 1: Diabetes In The Movies

Type 1: Diabetes In The Movies

Moviegoers spent more than $95 million to see an adolescent Kristen Stewart get locked inside a “panic room,” act out hypoglycemia-induced seizures and come disturbingly close to slipping into a coma and dying before receiving a life-saving glucagon shot. This image sticks in movie patrons’ minds almost as vividly as Julia Roberts’ 1989 Oscar-nominated depiction of a woman who succumbs to diabetes-related kidney failure in “Steel Magnolias.” An Underused and Inaccurately Portrayed Theme In the past 20 years, barely more than a dozen movies used the drama of diabetes to draw audiences into a story. Most references were minor. The disease played a more significant role in a few films, including “Steel Magnolias.” Nearly all of them left the impression that diabetes draws the people who suffer from it into an uncontrollable tailspin toward death. The popularity of “Panic Room” pushed several emotions and questions to the surface. While some decry Hollywood’s history of extreme or inaccurate portrayals of people with diabetes, others applaud “Panic Room” and other movies that put diabetes—albeit with a little misinformation or confusion—into mainstream dialogue. Some say such movies can be wake-up calls to the public, and possibly Washington, about how serious diabetes can be. “Isn’t that what the arts are? A portrayal at the edge of the limits?” asks Francine Kaufman, MD, an endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and current president of the American Diabetes Association. “I think the average reasonable person realizes they’re watching a movie. ‘Steel Magnolias’ showed that diabetes has a significant role in people’s lives and sometimes involves loss. It showed diabetes at its most tragic, and that’s good for Continue reading >>

Movies, Type 1 Diabetes And Real Life Don’t Often Match Up

Movies, Type 1 Diabetes And Real Life Don’t Often Match Up

There are a lot of challenges we face living with Type 1 diabetes in a world addicted to simple answers and sensationalism. Living with the condition is mostly manageable, if challenging. Living with the image of the condition as portrayed in movies, books and T.V. adds to our daily challenges, as this is where the misleading, erroneous and dangerous public perceptions of us are formed and disseminated. Steel Magnolias, which was a popular movie and play in the late 1980s depicting relationships amongst a group of women in a small Louisiana town, contains a portrayal of a woman living with T1D that made a big contribution to the stigmatization and exclusion of people living with this medical condition, particularly women of childbearing age, on the basis that they could not possibly live normal lives and that it was reckless and irresponsible to try. The screenplay was written by the brother of a woman who had died from complications of diabetes. Nonetheless, it is riddled with inaccuracies and misinformation and perpetuates the myth that people with diabetes are weak, irresponsible and doomed to an early death if they try to do ‘normal’ things like having children. Quite simply, T1D is used in the story for its dramatic effect and it is exaggerated and vilified to increase the emotional impact of the narrative, in typical Hollywood style. This aspect of the narrative is milked for all its potential tear-jerking effect. In 1989, when the movie came out, I was working as a Bay St. lawyer and trying to get pregnant with my first child. I had been living with T1D for 16 years at that point, and had not let it stand in the way of moving away from my small hometown, getting an education and launching a successful legal career. I had been married for 3 years, and we decid Continue reading >>

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