Nick Jonas — Recipient of the Hero Award
Multi-platinum singer Nick Jonas has won Radio Disney’s 2017 Hero Award. His nomination comes from his decade long commitment to children with type 1 diabetes and his recent founding of Beyond Type 1, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cure research, education and advocacy for the chronic illness.
The Hero Award at the Radio Disney Music Awards is given to artists who have had outstanding contributions in charity and recipients in the past have included Shakira (2014), Jennifer Lopez (2015), Gwen Stefani (2016).
Jonas was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13 and understands the importance of community for support. He describes his organization as “a place where you can crash and be lifted back up again.”
Founded in February 2015, Beyond Type 1 has become the fastest growing type 1 diabetes organization for social media in the world with a community of over a million people. The nonprofit has dozens of natives programs that support advocacy outreach and education, while its grantees are some of the leading organizations in cure research and technology.
While Nick Jonas has inspired and encouraged children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Beyond Type 1 is not just for kids, but also for adults newly diagnosed or veterans of the disease. Beyond Type 1’s CEO, Sarah Lucas, explains that “[type 1 diabetes] is not a lifestyle disease; it is not a kids’ disease either.”
A big part of the nonprofit’s mission is to also celebrate the incredible work people are doing while living with type 1. It was even started around this idea of #LivingBeyond—a vibrant Instagram Campaign that showcases people with type 1 diabetes (T1Ds) who are thriving today and “living beyond” their diagnosis.
Changing the way chronic illness is perceived, Jonas with his charity, has become an integral part of support for the type 1 diabetes community. The pop star received the Hero Award from good friend and comedian, Jack Black, on April 29 at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, accompanied by 10 children who also have type 1 diabetes. Jonas has also been nominated in three other categories at the Radio Disney Music Awards, including Best Male Artist. The telecast will be available to the public on Sunday, April 30 at 7 p.m. EST.