Posted: Saturday, September 25, 2010 9:44:57 PM
What makes a hero? They don’t have to be physically strong or fight an evil nemesis. Inspiration is the key. Nick Jonas, the 18 year old rock star and one-third of the phenomenon called the Jonas Brothers has inspired me through his struggle with diabetes and his support of children in need.
Back in 2005, Nick was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after experiencing weight loss, fatigue, and mood swings. At that time the Jonas family was just beginning to tour and perform, and the diagnosing and learning process was a crazy time for everyone. Nick even wondered if he would be able to continue making music, but he decided that he wasn’t going to let diabetes slow him down. He didn’t use his sickness as an excuse to give up. “Why me?” turned into “Why not me?” Ever since he announced his diagnosis in March 2007, Nick has used his experience to encourage children and young adults who have gone through the same thing, to be a positive light in a scary situation. It’s great when celebrities use their popularity and wealth to support a cause, but someone with personal experience can be so much more inspirational because they know exactly how it feels. I myself in 2007 was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which is an auto-immune sickness with no cure, just like diabetes. When I realized Nick had Type 1, I was inspired by his bravery and perseverance. It took courage for him to share his story, and he has inspired other kids to do the same. He has shown the world that an unforeseen hardship can be a blessing in disguise…and your means of becoming a hero.
“We started The Change for the Children Foundation to support programs that motivate and inspire children to face adversity with confidence, determination and a will to succeed.” This is the mission statement for the Jonas Brothers’ organization that encourages kids to help their peers who are a little less fortunate. One of the supported programs is the American Diabetes Association. Nick is actively encouraging others with diabetes, raising awareness, and supporting research to find a cure. He wrote a song about living with diabetes and even carries a supply of guitar picks to give away when he meets a new “diabetic buddy” as a symbol of their connection. Nick and his brothers have realized that their spotlight has given them a wonderful opportunity to help make a difference in a world where life isn’t always easy. Through his story, Nick has proven that we all have something in common and can use our experiences to brighten the lives of others.
In essence, Nick Jonas has used his diabetes and passion for supporting others to be a source of encouragement and inspiration. He is a hero. He’s taught me that all it takes is a positive attitude and a willingness to share your story, no matter how old you are. You never know what a difference it could make.