Nick Jonas admitted to being scared in 2005 when he learned the reason for his weight loss, irritability and constant thirst was Type 1 diabetes.

“I was nervous and I didn’t know if it would all end right there,” says Jonas, who was only 13 at that time and gaining fame on tour with his siblings, the Jonas Brothers. “I had to do what I had to do to keep going.”

Rolling with it

With help from friends and family, Jonas figured out how to adapt to T1D, an autoimmune disease affecting at least 1.25 million Americans.

That wasn’t easy at first, especially for Jonas, a self-described independent person who had to learn to rely on others to make sure he stayed healthy and his insulin in check. “My go-to advice is to just trust in your family and friends,” he adds.

One of Jonas’ biggest obstacles upon his diagnoses was understanding his body and learning how to stay healthy, especially with a hectic schedule. He counts on a continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump to stay on top of his condition. “These are life changing tools that I literally and figuratively keep in my back pocket,” he says of the devices, which simplify his disease management.

BREAKING THE CHAINS: "We all go through something that makes our life challenging," shares Jonas. "My diabetes has definitely made me stronger."

Put in perspective

“We all go through something that makes our life challenging,” adds Jonas. “We need to look at it in a different way. My diabetes has definitely made me stronger. It’s a big contributor to my character as a person.”

Jonas has become a source of inspiration for others, most recently through the creation of Beyond Type 1, a non-profit organization focused on raising awareness and changing the public dialogue to emphasize empowerment and strength. He especially wants to reach kids who, much like himself, need to know they are not alone.                      

Beyond building a community to openly talk about diabetes, he stresses education to ensure people understand T1D is not a lifestyle disease or, as he emphasizes, “something you did to get it.”

Nick Jonas' brand new single “Levels” has finally arrived and you can listen to it in full right here.