In 1997, "Leave It to Beaver" star Jerry Mathers got the news from his doctor: Unless he changed his lifestyle, he could die in three to five years.
He did, and he's now 55 pounds lighter.
"I was living the good life," he told Fox News. "I had side businesses and one of them was a catering business. And I was doing a lot of motion picture and television catering for crews, which is for about 100 to 200 people. It's like setting up a whole restaurant."
He continued, "I was around food all the time and I was a very good cook. Of course, that entailed sitting down with people so I was sometimes eating five to six full meals a day. … I was making a lot of money, everything was going great, and everyone around me was at least as fat as I was."
The former child star was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Almost instantly, he made changes.
"I sold the catering company and went on a very strict diet. I've been controlling my weight with diet and exercise ever since. I walk every day about six to eight miles," he said. "And I am now pre-diabetic because of that. … Dying from diabetes is a terrible way to go. It's really a horrible death."
Jerry, now 69, is happy with the results, but they haven't come easily.
"It's really tough, especially when I go out to eat. But I think, 'I can have this, but do I want to run further to get the weight off? Could I even get it off?' It's a daily struggle. I'm not cured," he told Fox. "This is something I have to deal with all the time. And I'm hoping that by going out to educate people on diabetes, I can save my fans."
These days, you can find a much slimmer Jerry traveling the country doing lectures about the dangers of Type 2 diabetes.