Many times, actors and actresses are asked to play people with struggles and obstacles they’ve never experienced. In the case of The Baby-Sitters Club, Shay Rudolph portrays Stacey McGill, a teenager struggling with type 1 diabetes. She lives with it, as many people do, but we see throughout the show how it can be a hindrance to fully living her life.
As we delve further into Season 2 of The Baby-Sitters Club, we see more and more of these instances for Stacey. Some of the kids’ parents worry that she can’t properly care for their children, and Stacey’s own parents are overbearing and overprotective beyond the typical teenager’s parents. So how does Shay so accurately portray this plight, and does she really have diabetes?
Although Stacey has diabetes, Shay does not. As opposed to other life-hindering illnesses, diabetes isn’t (always) something one is born with, and no treatment will change its effect on the body.
Anyone can be diagnosed with diabetes at any point in their life, but for Stacey, it’s always been there. While it could have some effects on mental health and the ability to live life to its fullest, those effects are different for every person.
So Shay was able to pave her own path when it came to portraying Stacey. But she wasn’t going to go in blind. In a Q&A with Flaunt, Shay explained, “I really wanted to portray Stacey’s type 1 diabetes as accurately as possible, so I interviewed some teens with juvenile type 1 diabetes.”
Many actors do this to prepare for roles, but Shay obviously had to go a bit deeper to bring the real-life experience to Stacey.
“I asked them what it felt like when their blood pressure is low or high and what it’s like living with an insulin pump and the stigma of that if there is any for them,” she continued. “This process really helped me connect with Stacey and understand her better.”
While there’s so much more to Stacey than her diabetes, understanding her underlying condition that comes into play in The Baby-Sitters Club pretty often was key to Shay taking on the role.
While many people with a disability or illness often seek representation in the media, Stacey McGill has been there since the ’90s. And people have some mixed opinions.
Kristen Lopez for IndieWire wrote, “If we want to have… Brinkwire short summary.