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Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
Ryan Wellnitz & Associates
Jonas Brothers Band Member Reveals He Has Diabetes at Diabetes Research Institute Fundraiser
Nick Jonas, age 14, hopes his story will inspire other kids with diabetes
New York, New York - March 11, 2007 - About 1,000 people attending the Diabetes Research Institute's Carnival for a Cure fundraising event in New York this afternoon were treated to a live concert by the young pop rock band, the Jonas Brothers, and some surprising inspiration from one of the band members.
Nick Jonas, 14, who sings vocals and plays guitar and drums for the band, took center stage after the band's opening song and asked for a show of hands of people in the audience, especially kids, who have diabetes. He then raised his own hand, acknowledging for the first time publicly that he has type 1 diabetes, a disease that results when the body does not produce the hormone insulin that is needed to convert sugar into energy.
Nick, who performs music around the country and in Europe with his older brothers Kevin, 19, and Joe, 17, told the families at New York's Metropolitan Pavilion he was diagnosed while on tour in November 2005. Exhibiting the classic symptoms of the disease, he was thirsty all the time, lost a lot of weight, and was acting uncharacteristically moody. When his doctor told him his sugar level was 700, meaning he had diabetes, his first thought was that he might die.
"I had an emotional breakdown since I really had no idea what diabetes was all about," said Nick. "I wondered, 'why me?' Then I asked myself, 'why not me?' and realized that I might be able to help other kids with diabetes."
Nick spent three days in the hospital learning how to manage his diabetes, including how to give himself insulin injections several times a day. The band's busy tour schedule as a Disney Channel and teen and tween-aged pop rock band favorite, made managing his diabetes with injections a challenge.
After reviewing different insulin therapy options including conventional insulin pumps that deliver insulin via long tubing attached to a pump typically worn on the belt, Nick opted instead for a relatively new insulin delivery system called the OmniPodŽ Insulin Management System, developed by Insulet Corporation. One of Nick's Pediatric Diabetes Educators, Carolyn Gershenson, RN, CPT of New York Pediatric Diabetes Consultants met with him and taught him how to use and administer insulin using the OmniPod System.
Nick and his brothers just released a song on the soundtrack for Disney's new movie Meet the Robinsons due in theaters March 30. The band is recording their second CD which is due to be launched in August, and their single, Year 3000, is number one on Radio Disney's Countdown. Last month, the Jonas Brothers were featured in Billboard Magazine as a top 40 band.
After the show, before meeting fans for autographs and photos, Nick received gratitude and praise from Tom Stern, chairman-elect of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation as well as parents of kids with diabetes for having the courage to tell his story.
"We are incredibly inspired by the courage that Nick demonstrated by announcing that he is dealing with the daily challenges of type 1 diabetes. So many children, including my daughter, Samantha, are able to rise above the adversity of this disease and thrive in everyday life. Nick has not only made a difference in his ability to touch children through his musical talent, but also by his willingness to raise broad awareness of our efforts at the Diabetes Research Institute to cure everyone living with this disease," said Tom Stern. "We are grateful to the entire Jonas family for sharing this very personal message and for supporting our efforts."
"At first, I was worried that diabetes would keep me from performing and recording and doing everything a teenager likes to do, but, my career is really ramping up," Nick said. "I want to let kids know that it doesn't have to be so hard. The most important thing is to never ever let yourself get down about having diabetes, because you can live a really great life as a kid with diabetes."
At the Diabetes Research Institute's Carnival event in NYC, Nick Jonas raises his own hand, publicly acknowledging for the first time that he has type 1 diabetes.
At the Diabetes Research Institute's Carnival, co-chairs Leslie Dezer, Carolyn Goldfarb, Melissa Goldberg and Denise Stern and their children with the Jonas Brothers, Joe, Kevin and Nick.
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The Diabetes Research Institute, a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is a recognized world leader in cure-focused research. Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet transplantation. From innovations in islet isolation and transplant procedures to advances in cell biology and immunology, the DRI is now harnessing the power of emerging technologies to develop new cell-based therapies to restore insulin production. For the millions of families already affected by diabetes who are looking to the world of science for answers, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure.
See also YouTube video of Nick's announcement.
Last Updated: Wednesday March 14, 2007 12:28:51
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