Actress Jean Smart got her big break when she landed a role on the hit television series Designing Women. Since then, she has starred in movies, plays, and television shows, including the thriller 24. Not only does Smart have a successful acting career, she has also dedicated herself as a mentor, fundraiser, and activist in the battle against type 1 diabetes. Smart was 13 when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Elliott Yamin may be best known for his singing voice, which won him third place in American Idol's fifth season, but he's also making news as a diabetes advocate. Yamin was diagnosed at age 16, after his mother (who has type 2 diabetes) recognized his lethargy, extreme thirst, and joint pains as warning signs of high blood sugar.
But Yamin wasn’t always so comfortable with his diagnosis. "I got really rebellious. I didn't want to take my insulin and I didn't want to believe I actually had diabetes," he told Diabetes Health in 2008. "I was pissed. I thought the future was grim and I wouldn't be able to do the things I always wanted to do." Perhaps Yamin’s most idol-worthy quality is his ability to surmount these fears: He never let his condition get in the way of his star-studded dreams. In fact, he has spoken candidly to fans about diabetes, and even opened up about it to Idol judges during his first performance.