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The DX Diabetes Dish: Robbie McCauley

Playwright, actress & director living with type 1 diabetes

Robbie McCauley is an Obie Award-winning playwright, an AUDELCO acting award recipient, and a theater director. Last year, the now 69-year-old actress wrote and performed a one-woman autobiographical show called “Sugar” about diabetes through history, her experiences living with type 1 diabetes, and how it affects the African-American community. McCauley continues to perform the show. She has been a professor for the Performing Arts Department at Emerson College since 2001.

What is your state of mind today?

I am curious and optimistic.

What three words would you use to describe who you are?

Mother, Artist/Teacher, and African/American.

How does diabetes change – or not change – who you are?

Diabetes makes me even more self-aware.

What inspires you to do what you do?

I am fascinated by the potential of human beings to do good things.

What do you appreciate most in your friends?

I have precious friends who I love laughing and talking with.

What would you pack for your favorite vacation?

Poetry by Pablo Neruda.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Some eggs, frozen blueberries, diet ginger ale, orange juice, sliced cheese and sliced turkey, mustard, sunflower butter, half of an avocado, frozen collard greens, and frozen okra.

What is your favorite way to relieve stress?

Soul music.

What is your idea of happiness?

Having time for good work, good friends, and family.

What do you most dislike?

Indifference to decent things that matter to others.

What’s your favorite diabetes management tip?

Let friends, family, and colleagues know you have diabetes.

What words do you try to live by?

Where there’s life, there’s hope.

What is your greatest fear?

Going low without someone who knows what to do present.

What is your greatest extravagance?


On what occasion do you lie?

When asked, “Do you want dessert?” I usually say “oh no,” even when I’m longing for it!

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

Nothing, because I accept them as they are, as I hope they do me.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, my daughter, Jessie, and my sister, Anita.

What would you choose for your last meal?

Fresh strawberries and whipped cream on a homemade biscuit with real hot chocolate.

What are you looking forward to right now?

More love, peace, and happiness – personally and for all.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about diabetes in history?

Most interesting to me is how much the world economy was developed from the sugar industry, which makes diabetes personal and political for me.

Any last words of wisdom?

Take time to enjoy how amazing life is.

All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the interviewee and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.

© 2013 The DX: The Diabetes Experience

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