The long, long wait for a diabetes cure

“I didn’t want to be defined by my illness and I didn’t want to be seen as weak, but Type 1 makes you different and it’s important for everyone around to know so they can help when you’re severely low in blood sugar said Mr. Boudreaux, 35, who lives in Monterey, California and works for the non-profit group Beyond Type 1.

Ms Hepner has also spent much of her life downplaying the disease, even to her husband, Mr Mossman. She recalled his confusion early in their relationship when he woke up to find her confused and drenched in sweat, the result of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. The more Mr. Mossman, a cinematographer, learned about the disease, the more he urged her to do the film.

For years, Ms. Hepner remained steadfast and worried about drawing unwanted attention to her health. “It’s a competitive world out there and I just didn’t want people to be like, ‘Oh, she’s not thinking straight because her blood sugar is high,'” she said.

But over time, Ms. Hepner’s ubiquitous breast cancer awareness campaigns and high-profile efforts to cure Alzheimer’s have made it clear that her skills as a filmmaker could change public perceptions of Type 1, an almost invisible disease, in part because it affects so many people didn’t make it look sick.

She hopes to change other misconceptions, including the notion that diabetes is a relatively inconsequential and “controllable” disease, a disease popularized by Big Pharma’s feel-good drug TV ads that see confident patients playing tennis and basketball and hot air control balloons.

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