Nick Jonas: T1D and Beyond

Written by on May 17, 2022

Before the platinum albums and awards, Nick Jonas was a 13 year old kid diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). While grappling with the trials and tribulations of his diagnosis, Nick went on to become one of the biggest pop stars in the world. His rise to fame didn’t stop him from advocating for others who struggle with the same disease and to this day, he’s one of the biggest advocates for T1D.

The Jonas Brothers released their first studio album in 2006, featuring the hit track “Year 3000.” From there, the band took off, finding massive success with hit TV shows, movies, and albums. The band split in 2013, with Nick and his brother Joe going on to lead their own solo careers. Nick, Joe, and Kevin eventually reunited in 2019, releasing the platinum selling single “Sucker.” Shortly after the release, the brothers released a documentary about the band called Chasing Happiness. In a section of the film, they talk candidly about how Nick was diagnosed with diabetes and not only how it affected him, but how it affected the whole family. They also speak to Nick’s incredible strength throughout the process and how it led to his past and present advocacy.

Photo courtesy of Larry Lettera

Back in 2008, Nick began working with The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world’s largest non-profit funder of diabetes research. He participated in their Children’s Congress in 2009 where he testified at a senate hearing about the importance of the Special Diabetes Program. Just a short year later, he was named JDRF’s National Walk Chair and worked to raise awareness for JDRF’s annual Walk to Cure Diabetes. During his time as the National Walk Chair, he participated in several of the Los Angeles Walks at Dodger’s Stadium.

Amidst his work with existing organizations, Nick was working on a project of his own. In 2015, he co-founded Beyond Type 1, a non-profit organization that’s working to change what it means to live with diabetes. This organization is not only researching a cure for diabetes, but is also working to provide education and platforms for those with T1D to use their voices and advocate for themselves. Beyond Type 1 provides a variety of educational resources that may not be easily accessible in other areas, including mental health resources directly related to the disease. There’s an entire page on their site dedicated to the “taboo” areas of type 1 diabetes entitled “Sex, Drugs + Rock & Roll.” These resources are free and easily accessible; they even offer college scholarships for students with T1D.

Photo Courtesy of Dexcom

For the 2021 Super Bowl, Nick appeared in a commercial for Dexcom, specifically to promote the Dexcom G6. The Dexcom G6 allows those with diabetes to monitor their glucose levels from their phones, all without pricking their fingertips. Nick’s work with Dexcom has led him to being a spokesperson for The Global Movement of Time in Range, a campaign that strives for awareness, education, and the adoption of time in range as the standard of care for people living with diabetes. This campaign is a global effort that is supported by both Dexcom and JDRF, as well as Beyond Type 1.

For almost the entirety of his time in the spotlight, Nick Jonas has been working to advocate for people living with diabetes. He’s put out some incredible music and incredible campaigns that work to support this global community.

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