“Got the news today, doctors said I had to stay a little bit longer and I’ll be fine,” Nick Jonas croons in the Jonas Brothers‘ 2008 hit song “A Little Bit Longer,” which he emotionally wrote about his longtime battle with type 1 diabetes. The 23-year-old singer was diagnosed with the disease in 2005 when he was just 13 years old. Since NJ went public with the diagnosis in 2007, he has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the illness and be a positive influence to the thousands of others who also suffer from diabetes. But while Nick is perhaps the most well-known diabetic celebrity, he’s definitely not the only one.
In fact, the list of stars who also have type 1 diabetes include one of your Nickelodeon favorites, two very successful American Idol contestants, and a former Miss Universe winner. Click through the gallery below to see which celebrities battle the chronic illness every day of their lives.
Nick Jonas is one of the busiest young stars around, and he refuses to let his type 1 diabetes slow him down. The 23-year-old singer was diagnosed with the disease when he was just 13 and has since become an advocate for diabetes awareness and research.
"When I was first diagnosed, I didn't really know a lot about the disease," he told Entertainment Tonight. "So I was actually thinking I was going to die."
But since his initial diagnosis, Nick has become the face of living a healthy and happy life, even with a chronic illness.
"I'm in the best health I've been in, and I'm feeling really good about, not only my own life with diabetes and having tools I can manage it with, but also about the message that I have, which is to try to be an encouragement."
Before this Bella and the Bulldogs star was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 8, she "thought diabetes was a pill that helped you relieve gas." In the years that have followed, the now-17-year-old actress has made it her mission to educate young people like herself about the disease in hopes of helping someone who recently got news similar to her.
"My advice would be that it’s going to be a day to day struggle, but you have to remember that it doesn’t change who you are," the Nick star told Celeb Secrets last year. "You’re a person who happens to have diabetes, not just a diabetic. I think that’s really important to live by."
Mackenzie's struggle with type 1 diabetes was documented on season 3 of Teen Mom. The 21-year-old was diagnosed when she was 12 and she knows first hand how the disease can affect everyday life, especially during pregnancy.
"It affected my pregnancy a lot," she told Starcasm. "Gannon was bigger than normal. I had to have an ultrasound three days a week to check up on his weight. He was four weeks early and still weighed 9.7 pounds."
When Mackenzie was pregnant with her second child, her "blood sugar...bottomed out in the bath... [and she] almost died." This incident happened just months after she got into a car accident because her blood sugar skyrocketed while she was driving and she almost passed out behind the wheel.
Poison lead singer Bret Michaels was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was just 6 years old, and in addition to being one of the most well-known rock stars in the world, he has made it his mission to raise awareness about the disease. Although it was tough at first, the 53-year-old now calls his diagnosis a blessing.
"I think it was a blessing because it helped me in this sense: it really gave me a sense of self -- the way my parents taught me, a sense of self-confidence, to be aware of my body, to know what's going on with my body, to be able to know that eating right and exercising and all that stuff would play a big factor in my life — and a life or death factor in my life. It really upped my game and made me pretty mature at a young age, but then I think in the long run it built my character."
Crystal Bowersox was the runner-up on season 9 of American Idol, but her diabetes almost hindered her from getting there. The singer woke up one day during the competition with a super high blood sugar and had to be sent to the hospital. The show's producers suggested that she leave the compeition to focus on her health, but she refused — "I cried and said, 'No way. I've come too far to let diabetes stop me.'"
But Crystal wasn't the first AI contestant to have diabetes. Season 5's third-place winner was diagnosed when he was 16 and has used his platform to speak in front of congress about diabetes awareness.
"Young people should just continue going for their dreams," he told Diabetes Health. "Don't let diabetes stop you. I go out there and sing hard and give it my all, and am passionate and try to convey that passion on stage. It's my job. It's what I'm supposed to do — and it's the best job in the world. I really come alive on that stage. I love it — it's where I belong."
The former Desperate Housewives star is widely known to have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after she was crowned Miss America 1983, but has never spoke out about the alleged diagnosis.