Opening Their Eyes to Diabetes

Television star Mary Tyler Moore was diagnosed with juvenile-type diabetes three decades ago, and she's done more than her share of suffering in the years since, while distinguishing herself as a versatile actress on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and such dramatic films as "Ordinary People."

" 'Suffer' is the correct word because I have fallen victim on a couple of occasions to some near life-changing side effects," the 63-year-old pop culture icon told us. Among them are circulatory problems, common to diabetics, which almost required the amputation of several toes, and near blindness caused by hemorrhaging blood vessels in her eyes.

Moore--who will testify today at the Hart Senate Office Building as international chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation--recently underwent a delicate procedure performed by New York ophthalmic surgeon Yale Fisher to reverse the onset of blindness in her right eye. "They go in and remove the vitreous from the back of the retina, where a lot of blood resides, and replace it with saline," she said. "As a result of that operation, which was hugely successful, I can now see as well as I could when I was 14."

Well enough, in any case, to operate heavy machinery at the Dutchess County, N.Y., farm she shares with her 18-years-younger physician-husband, Robert Levine, and to act in an upcoming movie comedy, "Labor Pains," in which she plays a mother-from-hell, while retooling the script for an ABC-TV pilot in which she and former co-star Valerie Harper revisit the lives of Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern.

From Mum, a Nice Set of (Pounds) Sterling

Royal newlyweds Edward Windsor and Sophie Rhys-Jones, honeymooning at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish highlands, got some really nice wedding presents from Prince Edward's mum, Queen Elizabeth II. The booty includes new aristocratic titles and more taxpayer- subsidized money for the happy pair, The Post's T.R. Reid reports from London. The queen increased her youngest son's tax-free allowance from $168,000 a year to $227,000. He'll also keep his Buckingham Palace apartment and a 57-bedroom mini-palace, Bagshot Park in Surrey.

As for titles, Edward is now the Earl of Wessex and Sophie is the Countess of Wessex--never mind that Wessex hasn't existed as an actual earldom for about 900 years. From now on she'll be Sophie Wessex, though she'll likely retain her maiden name when working as a public relations consultant. The earl, who runs a film production company, will go by Edward Wessex. In other royal gift news, future king Prince William just got a Volkswagen Golf for his 17th birthday. The Source would like to take this opportunity to wish them all the very best.


* Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), 55, has tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend, thirty-something Jackie Clegg, who is vice chairman and chief operating officer of Washington's Export-Import Bank. Federal Judge Robert N. Chatigny officiated at a low-key civil ceremony on the banks of the Connecticut River Friday evening, and then about 60 family members and close friends partied at Dodd's house in East Haddam, Conn. The two have been dating since the late 1980s, when Clegg was a staffer for then-Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah). It's Dodd's second marriage, Clegg's first.

* Horror novelist Stephen King--recovering from severe injuries after being hit by a van Saturday while walking along a road near his North Lovell, Maine, home--will undergo months of painful physical therapy, the Associated Press reports. King, 51, was in surgery yesterday for a broken hip, a fractured leg, a collapsed lung and other injuries, but "his mental state is great," his office said.

* In other hospital news, Washington Times editor Paul Rodriguez was resting uncomfortably yesterday after weekend spine surgery stemming from an altercation three months ago at the Capital Grille restaurant. Washington lobbyist Bill Jarrell, who recently acknowledged regret for the incident in a letter to Rodriguez's attorney, is doing 40 hours of community service for a Northern Virginia nonprofit group to wipe away a misdemeanor charge of assaulting Rodriguez.

* Today's "Cause Celebs" are Luke Perry, Carol Kane and Mary Kay Place, headlining tonight's Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation fund-raising dinner at the National Building Museum.

CAPTION: Moore: Recovered from surgery and ready to testify today on Capitol Hill.

CAPTION: For Prince Edward and bride Sophie, life just got a whole lot sweeter.

CAPTION: Clegg and Dodd, tying the knot after about a decade of dating.