Cobra Kai Star Discusses Being Diagnosed With a Chronic Disease

Tanner Buchanan, Xolo Maridueña and Mary Mouser

Getty Tanner Buchanan and his cast mates Xolo Maridueña and Mary Mouser pose at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2019.

Since Cobra Kai’s premiere in 2018, Mary Mouser has portrayed Daniel LaRusso’s daughter, Samantha. Some fans may not be aware that the 24-year-old actress has type 1 diabetes. 

In May 2019, Mouser uploaded a video on her personal YouTube channel, in which she explained that she had been diagnosed with the chronic disease in 2009. She noted that when she was about to turn 13, she exhibited symptoms of type 1 diabetes, including “decreased weight, increased appetite, [and] constant and excessive dehydration.” The actress also disclosed she was constantly ill, causing her to visit her pediatrician once a week for five weeks. Her doctor was unable to provide a diagnosis until Mouser’s mother “mentioned … she had been downing bottles of water.”


Mouser Was Taken To a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Mary Mouser

GettyMary Mouser wears a red dress at SVA Theater in 2018.

Her blood test showed that she was diabetic and her “blood sugar at the time was 565.” She was then rushed to an endocrinologist and, later that day, was taken to a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. 

Mouser recalled that “it took [the nurses] actually two and a half hours” to put in her IV because she was “so small, so emaciated, and so dehydrated.” The actress, who previously had a fear of needles, stated that the experience was extremely painful. She had to “bit[e] down” on a pack of tissues to stop herself from screaming, as she was frightening the other patients. 

She was forced to fast, although a nurse did allow her to eat a few graham crackers. During her stay at the hospital, she also was introduced to a diabetes educator, who focused on nutrition. 

“For type 1 diabetics, you’re allowed to eat just like anybody else would. Unlike type 2 diabetes, there is no cure… so limiting my diet is only at my own discretion,” explained the actress.

Mouser’s mother also learned “how to give [her] an [insulin] injection.” The actress explained that the disease causes the inability to “produce insulin… so your body starts to think it can get what it needs, aka the sugar into the cells by eating away at its own fat storage.”

In addition, Mouser discovered that she would need “one unit of insulin for every 15 carbs” she consumed. 


The Actress Was Upset When She Realized Her ‘Relationship With Food Had Changed’

Courtney Henggel and Mary Mouser

GettyCourtney Henggeler and Mary Mouser strike a pose at The Paley Center for Media.

In the video, the actress stated that she was able to leave the hospital a day early to attend her younger sister’s elementary school graduation. At the celebration, she was offered a piece of cake, which she automatically accepted before she realized her “relationship with food had changed.”

“Never again that I would be able to just run up and grab a slice of cake and start eating it and then move on with my day,” tearfully explained the actress. “That there would have to be a step before that, which is testing my blood sugar and then delivering the insulin and then waiting ten minutes, and then being able to eat the cake and hoping I corrected enough for it. Then doing some tests afterward, and maybe I didn’t give enough insulin and then I have to give another shot of insulin and all of these things to come along with eating.”

While she was upset about her diagnosis, she noted that eventually “it started to change and get easier.” 

“I thought that my life would only be hindered by this thing called diabetes, but luckily that has not been the case. I’ve worked really hard to manage my diabetes and to take care of myself, and thanks to that and the support I have around me, I’ve been able to accomplish so much more than I ever even imagined,” stated the actress. 

To see more of Mouser, be sure to watch Cobra Kai Season 3, available on Netflix.

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