about Susie

Susie Perkowitz is an-award winning speaker, a passionate diabetes advocate, a popular podcast producer, and a triple-threat theatrical performer.

In 2013, after finishing a 120 mile ultramarathon through the Rocky Mountains, Susie found herself hospitalized. Much to everyone’s surprise, Susie was diagnosed with diabetes.

Originally labeled Type 2, by the time of her diagnosis Susie had already developed mild-moderate diabetic retinopathy. For nearly 3 years, Susie struggled to control her diabetes, not knowing she’d been misdiagnosed with the wrong form of diabetes and was receiving the wrong treatment. During this time, Susie got progressively sicker, and her retinopathy progressed to severe, with macular edema. 

Susie was going blind.

In 2016, she was referred to a specialist in genetic testing. After screening and bloodwork, answers came. Susie had HNF4a MODY 1, a monogenic type of diabetes also referred to as Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY). She was transitioned to the correct medication and immediately her blood glucose came under control. Eager to help others who are misdiagnosed, Susie has become a passionate diabetes advocate. 

Susie also controls her diabetes through practicing a ketogenic diet. Initially skeptical of the ‘fad diet,’ Susie meticulously researched the science behind it – and being convinced of the science, decided to try it for herself. Now, due to her personal success with eating keto, she helps educate others who want to eat keto, whether to  control diabetes or for other reasons. Susie frequently speaks about keto and hosts Small Bite Keto, a podcast that helps make eating keto easy – one bite at a time. 

But Susie is more than her diabetes diagnosis.


An award-winning speaker, Susie employs creative and humorous storytelling techniques gleaned from her degrees in Theater and Communication, improv training at Improv Olympic Chicago, and years of performing on stage. She is a former member of ABC Toastmasters, has trained extensively with with Heroic Public Speaking, and is an HPS Fellow. Her speaking engagements include the American Diabetes Association and Nourished Festival. 

Susie Perkowitz Headshot copy

Podcast producer

As a former nationally syndicated radio producer & host, Susie has had a passion for audio production throughout her career. Susie has produced, hosted and/or voiced countless radio segments, shows, commercials and sponsorships. Also a seasoned entrepreneur and marketer, Susie has spearheaded successful branding campaigns, product designs & launches, as well as PR & marketing campaigns. In 2017, she founded Sheep Jam Productions,  which provides audio production services for podcasts, commercials, and audio books. Stand-out in-house productions include top children’s podcast, Be Calm on Ahway Islandwhich has more than 3.5 million downloads, is internationally syndicated, is in the top 15% of Stories for Kids podcasts in all major English-speaking nations, and is beloved by listeners in dozens of countries.

Susie herself also hosts her own show, Small Bite Keto, with additional shows in development, and makes guest appearances on other podcasts, including Rare in Common.

In additional to its in-house productions, Sheep Jam provides solutions — from just-get-me-started-solutions to full-service packages! — to all people with a message who who want to Stand Up, Stand Out, and Start Now.

Diabetes advocate

As part of her diabetes advocacy and commitment to helping others avoid the devastation of misdiagnosis, Susie frequently acts as patient advocate for numerous organizations. Highlights include:

  • SPEAKER: American Diabetes Association 78th Scientific Sessions, 2018 — Patient Perspective on Panel: Monogenic Diabetes Testing is Ready for Prime Time. Panel also included: Dr. Lou Philipson, MD, PhD, Dr. Miriam Udler, MD, PhD, and Dr. Liana Billings, MD, MMSc.
  • MEMBER: Monogenic Diabetes Research and Advocacy Consortium (MDRAC) — a nonprofit that promotes the correct diagnosis of types of diabetes caused by genetic mutations known as monogenic types of diabetes.

  • FOUNDER: Done with Diabetes (DWD) — founded by Susie herself, this 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization has dual missions: to provide diabetes education and to fund research toward a cure.
Susie Speaks at ADA 2018 Cropped


With degrees in Theater and in Communications, Susie has performed as a singer, dancer, and actress throughout the Chicago area. She has studied with iO Theater Chicago, dialects with Kate DeVore, improv with Liz Allen, and sketch comedy and the Monty Python writing process with Kim Howard Johnson. She is also an independent voice-over artist. Formerly a nationally syndicated radio host, Susie has hosted and voiced multiple radio segments, shows, commercials and sponsorships during her broadcasting career.

Speaking of performance, Susie is also an endurance athlete, having done the TransRockies Ultramarathon 6 times and Hustle Chicago (formerly Hustle up the Hancock). Other races include the Chicago Marathon, the Shamrock Shuffle, the Northshore Half Marathon, and the Trout Valley Turkey Trot.

TransRockies Race
TransRockies Race
Hustle Chicago
TransRockies Race
ADA 78th Scientific Sessions
NorthShore University Health System
Monogenic Diabetes Research & Advocacy Consortium
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Susie in the media

NorthShore University HealthSystem

"MODY Diabetes: Amanda and Susie's Story" — Video Presentation

NorthShore University HealthSystem

Watch here

Rare in Common Podcast

Episode #22 — "Misdiagnosed: The Importance of Genetic Testing"

Rare in Common

Listen here

Diabetes Forecast

"What to Know about Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)"

Diabetes Forecast

Read here

Northshore Connections

Disease Demystified: Personalized Medicine Zeroes in on an Uncommon Form of Diabetes"

NorthShore Connections


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