Diabetes Forecast

People to Know 2018: Julie Ann Emery

By Elizabeth Perkins ,

Julie Ann Emery
Photograph by Vince Trupsin

It may seem hard to believe, but living with diabetes has given me access to an incredible community of people I might not otherwise know. Take, for instance, Julie Ann Emery. Within minutes of “meeting” on the phone, I could see that we are both following the same script—even though she has prediabetes and I have latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). Every day, we manage our diabetes without letting it dictate our lives. On set, that means packing healthy snacks that help us keep our blood glucose levels in target range and avoid being tempted by sweets in the commissary. With family and friends, we’ve become experts at staying on track.

“I often order a cup of tea while my friends have dessert,” says Julie Ann, who stars in Preacher. “That way, we’re all still going to lunch or dinner for a girls’ outing, but I’m not putting my health at risk.”

Growing up in Crossville, Tennessee, Julie Ann watched as her father dealt with the challenges of living with type 2. When she was diagnosed with prediabetes at age 19, she vowed to do everything she could to prevent her condition from progressing into type 2 diabetes. So she manages with daily exercise and by watching what she does—and does not—eat.

“Even though I’m the one making the decision to have veggies instead of fries, having the support of loved ones helps me stay on course with closely tracking my health,” she says. It’s why she’s never tried to hide her diabetes from those around her.

I get that. Like Julie Ann, I’m not ashamed of having diabetes. And I’m not shy about giving myself insulin injections when I’m on set or talking about making healthy food choices.

“I am proud of not only managing my health but realizing the importance of doing so,” says Julie Ann. “I’m proud of how my diligence has paid off.”

Photograph by Brian Bowen Smith

Elizabeth Perkins has starred in numerous feature films and TV series, most recently This Is Us and Sharp Objects. She is gearing up to star in the Apple original series Are You Sleeping?



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