At a press conference in NYC on Wednesday, Nick Jonas spoke openly about being diagnosed with diabetes.
"I thought, ‘Why me?’ I didnt’ know how to handle it," Nick, 15, said of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13.
The Jonas Brothers have partnered with Bayer Diabetes Care to offer encouragement to people with diabetes and spread awareness about the disease.
The pop star says he was diagnosed after he experienced certain behavioral changes and suffered sudden weight loss.
"I didn’t know anyone with diabetes," Nick says. "There was no familiar face in music or sports that I could connect with … [but] I started to see it as an opportunity to be an inspiration to a generation that doesn’t openly talk about having diabetes and not feeling embarrassed by the disease."
Nick adds, I remember when I was first diagnosed, I was like ‘I can do this.’ And then sometimes it became, ‘alright, I need somebody’s help,’ so I’d say, ‘Can you do my needle for me today?’ It’s ok to rely on other people and just be positive and keep going."
The pop star says he’s looking into collaborating with fellow celebrities Halle Berry and Poison’s Brett Michaels (both suffer from the disease) and admits one of the hardest parts of having diabetes is working it around his career.
"The biggest challenge is managing it before I go on stage," he says. "And making sure I keep a watch on my blood sugar throughout the day. It’s always very important. There are times when you can’t really help what happens to the sugar because part of it is kind of unpredictable."
Nick’s brother Kevin, 20, agrees. "At a concert a couple of days ago Nick had a low onstage. He said, ‘I need a second to stall,’ so I kept talking to the audience until he gave us the sign that he was ok."
As for the message Nick hopes to share with others– "To be able to live my dream by being in a band shows that anything is possible," he said. "Even if you have diabetes."