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Actor Victor Garber on Life with Type 1 Diabetes

You may recognize actor Victor Garber from the numerous parts he’s played through the years, from roles in movies like Titanic and TV shows Alias and Legends of Tomorrow, to theater performances that include last year’s “Hello Dolly!” on Broadway. But did you also know that he’s part of our diabetes tribe, nearing six decades of living with type 1 diabetes?

We had an absolute pleasure connecting with Victor recently, thanks to our friends at non-profit Beyond Type 1, that Victor’s been involved with for several years now. (We also loved the irony of talking with Victor on Easter weekend, knowing that he’d played Jesus in the musical Godspell way back in the early 70s.)

The 70-year-old Canadian actor hails from London, Ontario, which happens to be the “birthplace of insulin,” and a portrait with his story hangs on the wall inside the historic Banting House in that small town.

In our phone interview, Victor showed how kind, open, and down-to-earth he is – as he reflected on his career, the advancements we’ve seen in diabetes technology, and how important he views community. In his words, peer support is key and it’s critical to face diabetes “as a team, because we’re all in it together.”

 

Actor Victor Garber on Life with Diabetes

DM) Victor, thank you so much for taking the time for our readers. Can you please start by sharing your own diagnosis story?

VG) I was diagnosed right around my 12th birthday. It was out of the blue and we couldn’t really trace it back to anyone in my immediate family, at least at first. We later realized I had a second cousin who was type 1, so as a family we’d been exposed to it but really didn’t know anything about it other than that.

I was nearly dead by the time they got me to the doctor, because of course we didn’t know what was going on. I wasn’t unconscious, I remember that, but I was close. It was shocking and traumatic, and I remember the look on my mother’s face as she stood there with my father….

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