Chatting with Celeb D-Mom Denise Jonas

by Leighann on July 20, 2011

In the last couple of weeks I shared the news of the Lilly Diabetes and Disney partnership which includes the first (of many) children’s books about diabetes Coco and Goofy’s Goofy Day and a writing contest with an unbelievable prize.

Chatting with D-Mom Denise Jonas

Denise JonasI had the opportunity on the day of the Once Upon a Time Contest announcement to chat with D-Mom Denise Jonas for a few minutes.

Denise is the mom of stars Nick, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13, Joe, and Kevin. The Jonas Brothers are known widely for their band and for their long run on the Disney channel.

So you may think that a diagnosis of diabetes might be so much easier for the parent of a singing sensation because she would have all the resources in the world available to her. But I have to say that listening to Denise recount those first few days, it was exactly for her as it was for each of us.

She spent several days in the hospital receiving education on how to care for Nick. Her only support in the beginning was the nursing staff. It was Joe and Kevin who went online looking for resources on how to move forward and find support and information.

When I told Q that I would be speaking with Nick Jonas’ mother Denise, I asked if she had any questions for her. She said, “Tell her that I’ve been on TV, in the newspaper, and on the radio because of diabetes just like her son.”

I told this to Denise (because I promised Q) adding that for my daughter and other kids with diabetes, it is great to see such a public figure out there and not hiding his diabetes. We occasionally catch a glimpse of his OmniPod (the same insulin pump that my daughter uses) and it is validating for her. Seeing a young star with diabetes makes it more “socially acceptable,” if that makes sense.

Denise said that when Nick was diagnosed he wanted to know who else had diabetes. Which celebrities? Most of the public figures they found were athletes.

She loves seeing her son Nick with young children with diabetes. She said he was too busy to go to diabetes camp because of his career, but that’s something he would have liked to do.

When asked why she wanted to partner with Lilly Diabetes and Disney on this project, she said that when Nick was diagnosed, education was limited. “How do you send your kid back to school or gymnastics or dance?” She thinks the new collaboration is practical, which is what moms need and want.

I have to agree with her on that. Coco and Goofy’s Goofy Day would have been such a great resource for our family after our daughter’s diagnosis. Especially since I was looking everywhere for the right book to read to her preschool class to no avail.

She says the new project is about “encouraging and inspiring.”

I appreciate that Denise took a few minutes out of her schedule to chat with me about receiving the diabetes diagnosis, her collaboration with Lilly Diabetes and Disney. She’s another example of a down-to-earth D-Mom who “gets it.”

When I told Q later on that I had had my chat with Denise, she said:

Does that mean I get to have a playdate with Nick Jonas?
Because that would be really cool.

Yes, Q. That would be really cool!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tracy Selle July 20, 2011 at 8:56 am

Do you know what I love?

Just like Nick inspires and encourages our kids…..Denise does the same for every D-Mom.

I look at how she raised Nick to care good care of himself and I am reminded that I can do this, too.

Thanks Denise!


2 Tonya July 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

Love this post. We, too, feel happy/validated whenever we catch a glimpse of Nick’s Omnipod. So nice to have such a great role model for our kids. Thank you, Nick and Well done, Mama Jonas! (And, I think many girls – both D and non-D alike – would LOVE to have a “playdate” with NJ. Ha ha! 🙂


3 Denise aka Mom of Bean July 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Love that the ‘D-experience’ doesn’t care if you are famous or not!
Oh, and totally count us in on that playdate!!!


4 Amy Ermel October 13, 2012 at 1:23 am

I love this and how awesome that you had the chance to speak with Mama Jonas! It is very comforting to know that she went through exactly the same things as we all did too. I had the chance to take Emma to see the Jonas Brothers concert in Toronto a few years ago and I have to admit, Nick was incredible. He was such a well spoken, caring, and kind guy! He spent a lot of time talking about his diabetes and while many of the screaming teens in the crowd probably didn’t hear him too well, I know it meant the WORLD to my daughter. Love the Jonas family!


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