The Jonas Brothers are one of today’s hottest bands, with one of the summer’s most highly-anticipated tours, appearances on TV, and a new album coming out in August.
But what most people don’t realize is that while he’s singing and playing on stage with his brothers, Nick Jonas, 15, is also wearing an insulin pump. The cover story of the July 2008 issue of Diabetes Forecast, the consumer magazine of the American Diabetes Association, shares the Jonas family’s struggle with Nick’s diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in November 2005, and will inspire all parents who are coping with their daughter’s or son’s diabetes.
“Nicholas is so self-sufficient,” says his mother, Denise Jonas. “Even at that age he was quick to learn how to give himself shots. And I wanted him to take over because I knew I wasn’t going to be around him all the time.” The Jonases also have multiple back up systems in place behind the scenes; family members, assistants, and even the band’s security team carry glucagon, fruit snacks, and an extra insulin pump.
It took the Jonas family more than a year to address Nick’s condition publicly, but since then he’s been a strong advocate and role model for others with the disease. He even wrote a song about being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, established a foundation with his brothers called Change for the Children, and gives concert tickets to young people with type 1 diabetes. Nick believes that managing diabetes has brought him and his mother closer together, stating that their relationship is “definitely stronger and more supportive. She is always watching me and caring.”
The support and appreciation is mutual. Denise Jonas says of her 15-year-old rock star son, “I know who he is and know that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to, so I don’t think that he will ever allow diabetes, or anything else, to slow him down.”