Debbie Allen opens up about her prediabetes diagnosis

The legendary choreographer and producer talks about her recent diagnosis and how she’s partnering with the National Kidney Foundation to help others with chronic kidney disease.
4:45 | 02/04/21

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Transcript for Debbie Allen opens up about her prediabetes diagnosis
@drjashton. We'll turn to a legendary entertainer. You may know her as the woman behind the Debbie Allen dance study. She's also a producer, actor and a Kennedy center nominee. She's joining us to talk about a lot of things. Everybody welcome Debbie Allen to the show. There she is. Debbie Allen, hello. You're sharing something. You're talking about a diagnosis, prediabetes, that you've gotten. We want to get into that with you. I want to put a picture up before we get started, a special picture you have of your family and Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr. Stop by the house. We understand he was a friend of the family. We've been talking about mlk this past year and during black history month. What are your thoughts where you look back to those times? That's your brother sitting on his lap. What do you reflect on? That's my baby brother who is now 6'3". I think about the time where the whole community in this country was coming together to stand up for human rights for all people. That's what I think about. I think about, you know, the racism, the Jim crow laws, not being able to go to dance class, being -- white only water fountains and restaurants. I think about all those things I experienced as a child. I think about what it took to overcome it. It was the nation of people coming together like we're coming together now, as we must come together right now. Certainly. I know you were trying to make sure we live longer and have healthier lives. You told the world you were living with prediabetes. You have a family history of type II diabetes. That's the leading risk factor for kidney failure. Nxt month is national kidney month. Tell us why this is so important. Type II diabetes is a big risk factor in having chronic kidney disease. There's 37 million adult Americans walking around right now with chronic kidney disease and they don't know it. So the campaign which was started by the national kidney foundation and now partnered with the bay area and I've joined this. We're asking that question are you the 33%. One in three Americans are at risk for kidney disease. For me type II diabetes is part of the conversation. My whole family has been for generations ravaged by diabetes. My father, my grandfather, my aunt, my uncles all died of complications of type II diabetes. There was no platform like this that existed with this kind of information. Information is power. I was diagnosed as being prediabetic and happily it hasn't come all this time and just now is starting to show up. This campaign gave me information I didn't know. I didn't know there was a simple urine test, uacr urine test. Just ask your health care giver to give it to you. You can find out if you have chronic kidney disease. There's a blood test egfr that would tell you. I'm one that believes in being proactive about your physical health and what you're doing with your family, looking into your DNA, looking into what's happening. You look amazing. By the way, happy birthday. You just turned 71. You look incredible. Dr. Jen, her jaw just dropped. You're living proof of what it means to live a healthy life, an active life. Thank you for spreading the word and inspiring others. Thank you for joining us. We know you're busy. Thanks for being with us. I thank you for your program. You give so information. I loved that profile with miss April. It's super bowl Sunday. Be careful not to eat too much fried chicken. They'll listen to you. They won't listen to us. Debbie Allen, so good to see you. Keep moving. Good living, clean living, that can be the result.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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