Exclusive: Mary Tyler Moore's Battle With Diabetes — Her Famous Friends Speak Out

Mary tyler moore battle with diabetes

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Mary Tyler Moore has been out of the spotlight since April 2013, struggling with complications from her long battle with diabetes.

Now, facing some of her toughest challenges yet, her friends speak to Closer Weekly, showing their support and offering an update on her condition.

"Her eyesight is what the big problem is right now,” former Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star Betty White reveals to Closer.

Mary Tyler Moore

Moore with White on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show"

Mary, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was only 33, “is almost beyond the point [of being able to see],” Betty says.

The illness forces Mary to stick close to home these days, though she stays connected to her longtime friends via frequent calls.

“I don’t see her often, but I talk to her a bunch,” Dick Van Dyke, who played her husband on The Dick Van Dyke Show, reveals to Closer. “She hasn’t been too well. She’s really having a battle with it, I’m sorry to say.”

Mary Tyler Moore

Moore with Van Dyke in a still from "The Dick Van Dyke Show"

Keeping an eye on her at all times is her husband of more than 30 years, Dr. Robert Levine, who is a cardiologist. “With his background in medicine, he understands the disease,” says Dr. Mark Atkinson, who’s worked with Mary and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for about 25 years.

The doctor talks to Robert weekly, and tells the mag, “We’ve laughed together, cried together, gotten disappointed together. They’ve just been the perfect couple.”

Valerie Harper, who played Rhoda on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, tells Closer "[the diabetes] does ravage her body, but she stays healthy.” However, her “wonderful friend” sounded great when they last spoke.

Mary Tyler Moore

Moore with Harper at an event in 2008

“Mary is not a woe-is-me woman,” a longtime friend assures the mag. “She has her bad days emotionally, but she just tries to find enjoyment in each and every day.”

Get the full update on Mary's condition and how she, along with her loved ones, are bravely battling through it — in the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now.

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