If you enjoy "The Biggest Loser" or other reality shows in that vein, and you have diabetes, you're gonna love this!!

Several years in the making, the TCOYD "Extreme Diabetes Makeover" program is underway now; episodes will start airing in May on TCOYD.org and its own TV channel, on YouTube, and at RealAge.com, the popular consumer health website run by Dr. Mehmet Oz of Oprah fame and his colleague Dr. Michael Roizen.

Wonder what I'm talking about? I think many of you know Dr. Steven Edelman and this team at the Taking Control of Your Diabetes educational conference series, a program that's changed the lives of many a PWD.  Tomorrow marks the middle of their new 20-week ultimate makeover program, in which they've hand-selected seven PWDs in need — five Type 2's and two Type 1's with an A1C of 9.0 or above — to work with a "dream team" of professionals to help get their diabetes under control and thus their lives turned around.

The Diabetes Dream Team consists of:

Dr. Steve Edelman, himself a Type 1, endocrinologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego

• The equally famous Dr. William Polonsky, CDE and Associate Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at UC San Diego

• Angela Norton, a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator with

Sharp HealthCare, in San Diego, CA

• Janice Baker, a Registered Dietitian, CDE and Medical Nutrition Therapist

based in San Diego, and

Larry Verity, a renowned Exercise Physiologist with San Diego State University

{Did I mention that for the moment the entire program is San-Diego based? But it's going to make great viewing, and will hopefully be expanded beyond California soon.}

The group spent weeks interviewing dozens of candidates for the program. Aside from a high A1C, they were looking for individuals facing some major barrier to their diabetes care, like extreme glycemic variability or hypoglycemic unawareness. Candidates also had to demonstrate passion and commitment to the program.

"Years ago, when we put on our very first TCOYD conference, Steve and I knew we were on to something big. For the first time ever, we had that same feeling again when we kicked off this makeover program," says Sandra Bourdette, Co-Founder & Executive Director of TCOYD.  "And this is just such a wonderful group. The backstories on these people are amazing!"

Among them, a man who now works in a San Diego landfill and carried the Olympic torch in 1984. He was a cheerleader at San Diego State University, but weighed in at just under 300 pounds when this program began.

One woman lost her job of 28 years in the middle of the program, and yet another participant was already living in a homeless shelter when the program began, after having lost his job. His mother has been instrumental in communicating with the makeover team. (Before the first airing, you'll just have to guess who is who.)

Now, without further ado, meet the patients:

Celeste - age 68, type 2 for 19 years

Chet - age 53, type 2 for 2 years

Daron - age 38, type 2 for 2 years

David - age 22, type 1 for 18 years

Liz - age 30, type 1 for 15 years

Renee - age 55, type 2 for 20 years

Tim - age 62, type 2 for five years

Expect all the drama and chuckles of Cake Boss and much more as the film crew follows these folks through their D-struggles and triumphs in their kitchens and pantries, exercising, shopping, and interacting with friends and family.

I've had a sneak peak myself of the program's trailer, and found that I was grinning despite myself, as each patient talked about what's hard and harder in working to control their disease and "live a normal life."

What really comes through is TCOYD's mission, as stated by Sandra: "Our focus is not the filming, but the people involved — making sure this changes their lives."

Sounds like must-see PWD TV to me!

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.