Nick Jonas: I want to help people overcome their ‘struggles’
Nick Jonas wants to use his diabetes diagnoses to "encourage" young people to overcome their own "struggles".
The ‘Close’ singer was diagnosed with the lifelong autoimmune disease when he was just 13 years old, and has urged people to not be defined by the hardships in their lives and make the world "a better place" by being "kind to someone who needs it".
Speaking at the Radio Disney Music Awards over the weekend where he was honoured with the Hero Award, Nick – who was accompanied on stage by a group of young children who also suffer with the disease – said: "This is truly incredible. These kids who are up here are all Type 1 diabetes like myself … This is a disease I was diagnosed with when I was 13. It was a moment in my life when I was just getting ready to start making music with my brothers, and touring, and it was something I thought would slow me down before I even got started.
"Thankfully it didn’t, and I’m in the healthiest place I’ve been since my diagnosis. But when I found out I would be receiving this award, I started thinking about who some of my heroes are. Not the kind of heroes who wear capes and save cities from evil villains, but real people who are heroes because they’ve changed the world in some way and made it a better place, or people who directly impacted my life.
"We all have the power to change the world and make it a better place. Every day can be an opportunity to be a hero. [If] you’re kind to someone who needs it, or you find a cause you’re passionate about. You get involved with something and raise your voice in some way. It does make a difference and I would encourage all of you to do that.
"What I saw as the biggest challenge of my life really did become the biggest opportunity to bring some encouragement to people like these amazing kids and hopefully people like you who are going to have your own struggles in your life."
And speaking on the red carpet before the start of the ceremony, the ‘Jealous’ singer – who was formerly a member of the Jonas Brothers with his siblings Joe and Kevin – said it felt "really special" to be receiving the gong.
He told ‘Entertainment Tonight’: "It’s really special. I’ve had a lot of heroes in my life, people that have inspired me [and helped me] to get through a tough time in my life … people like my dad, real pillars that have helped me through all of this, and it feels good to be here and receive this award."