Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nick Jonas on the Cover of "Inner Strength"

“The Nick of Time!”
by Kalia Doner
Okay, so you get up in the morning, put on six hats and still look good. Who are you?

You’re 16-year-old Nick Jonas, the youngest brother in the extraordinarily successful pop music group Jonas Brothers. He’s a songwriter, guitarist, pop singing idol, the third of four brothers in a close-knit family (older brothers Kevin and Joe are also in the band), an enthusiastic philanthropist and, oh yes, a kid with type 1 diabetes. And like so many of his peers who struggle to adjust to the disease, he has found that it has made him more focused, more generous and more aware of other people’s feelings and needs—a lucky balance, for someone who has grown up in the rarefied air that surrounds young celebrities.
“I was diagnosed at age 13 in November 2005,” he recalls. ‘Although I had been having the usual symptoms—I lost weight, was always thirsty, had to go to the bathroom all the time, and I was in a really, really bad mood all the time—I didn’t know what it all meant.”

His brothers Kevin and Joe noticed the change and bugged their parents to get Nick to the doctor. The diagnosis was as swift as it was startling: “My blood sugar was 700,” says Nick. His mom stayed in the hospital with him for three nights as doctors struggled to get his glucose levels under control and get him hooked up to his insulin pump. “I had to learn about diabetes and how to take care of myself. I was scared that I might not be able to keep making music.”

Nick had been singing and performing on Broadway since the age of seven, when he appeared in A Christmas Carol. In 2002, while appearing in Beauty and the Beast, he started recording. And by early 2005, after hearing a demo of a song written and performed by the three brothers, Columbia Records decided to sign the still-unnamed group.

It was in the midst of the Jonas Brothers’ first push for fame that Nick was diagnosed with diabetes. But it wasn’t until two years later, in March 2007, that he went public with the information. “I announced that I had diabetes at the Carnival fora Cure at Miami’s prestigious Diabetes Research Institute,” he says. “It seemed like the right time and place. I wanted to let kids know that the most important thing is to never let yourself get down about having diabetes, because you can live a great life as a kid with diabetes.”
Once he went public with the information, he was overwhelmed by the response: “Kids would tell me how scared they were to tell their friends they had it, and how my going public really gave them the courage to do it.”

To help spread the word about diabetes and to empower kids to handle its challenges, he and his brothers run the Change for the Children Founda¬tion and D-Vision, a special section dedicated to
diabetes. Nick has also launched a fund-raising effort through the sale of his special diabetes dog tags. You can buy them at /dogtags ($5; half of all sales go to fund research) or visit for fancier versions.

Nick has continued to talk about his diabetes, communicating to his fans the ideas and feelings he thinks are important. In June of 2008 he released ‘A Little Bit Longer,” a song about his life with diabetes. It became a major hit, helping the band garner a 2009 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. (The winner is announced on February 8, after this article goes to press.)

“I hope that I can be a positive light,” he says. “I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let diabetes slow me down. Don’t let it slow you down either.”

Source: Inner Strength Magazine