Diabetes Forecast

Spinderella Steppin' for ADA

The famed DJ puts the word out to honor her mother

By Lindsey Wahowiak ,

Spinderella had already lost her mother to type 2 diabetes complications when she discovered the American Diabetes Association. Spin, who made her name (or at least her stage name; she is Deidra Roper at home) as the teenaged DJ for rap legends Salt-n-Pepa, has now stepped into the limelight as a Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes® spokeswoman in Dallas.

For the last three years, Spinderella has fielded her own Step Out team to honor her late mother, Patricia Roper. In that time, she’s learned a lot about diabetes—both how it affected her mother and how it affects her community. And the more she gets involved with the Association, Spin says, the more she’s motivated to reach out to others.

“It really created a fight in me,” she says of the education she’s received from Association materials, volunteers, and staff. “That helpless feeling is one of the worst feelings to go through. I needed to do something with that helplessness. When I connected with [the ADA], I felt like a world of answers came to me, and I thought, by using my celebrity, I could help someone get answers and know that they have access, too.”

While Spinderella doesn’t have diabetes herself, other members of her family do, and they’re all working together to get healthier. After learning about her risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, she says she’s made the lifestyle changes to try to avoid it: Improved eating habits and more exercise go a long way to help. “It starts with you first,” Spinderella says. “I can’t put the word out and not do it myself.”

Spinderella plans to be at this year’s Step Out event in Dallas (on November 16), where she’ll meet with people who have diabetes, as well as their loved ones and other advocates. She says she’s inspired by other people who are taking the steps to live healthy lives. And she won’t quit any time soon. “I’m in it for the long haul,” she says.

Spinderella is one of several celebrity rap musicians advocating for diabetes.



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