Slightly overweight as a child, Berry unknowingly struggled with type 2 diabetes in her teens until she slipped into a diabetic coma on the set of the TV show Living Dolls at the age of 22. “I went into hospital on my last breath, and came out feeling a hundred times better,” Berry told the Daily Mail in 2005. “I knew it was time to take better care of myself, and I can honestly say that I am a healthier person than I was before I was taken ill.”
Advice for parents: “Having a child diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming,” says Rachel Dawkins, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. “Learning about counting carbs, giving and receiving injections, and monitoring blood sugar is a lot for a child and a family to handle, but kids are resilient and can cope easily with checking blood sugars and taking daily shots.” The best advice is to listen carefully to your child’s care providers, she says, and ask as many questions as you need to fully understand the disease.