A Texas teenager who’s being dubbed one of the next big stars on Nickelodeon TV is also stepping into a role as a diabetes advocate, based on her eight years of living with type 1.
In just the past few years, 16-year-old Brec Bassinger (@BrecBassinger) has starred in The Goldbergs, Bella and the Bulldogs and Liar Liar Vampire. She now even appears on billboards on Sunset Boulevard and in Times Square!
We were delighted to have the chance to chat with Brec (and her mom), about her personal D-story, how she got her start as a competitive child pageant star and cheerleader, and even how diabetes could be weaved into some of her acting roles if that’s what producers might want.
We even talked Nick Jonas, the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) and some Super Bowl predictions for this weekend’s big football game…
An Interview with Teen Actress Brec Bassinger
DM) First off, Brec, tell us your diabetes story…?
BB) I was diagnosed almost exactly eight years ago when I was 8, and my diagnosis anniversary was Jan. 22. I’m the only one from any generation in my family who’s ever had type 1 diabetes.
Actually, I was very blessed that my grandma, mom and I had taken a trip at that time, so it was just us three together in a hotel room. My mom immediately knew something was wrong and I wasn’t acting like myself – I was drinking so much water, I’d lost a lot of weight very quickly, and I was not a very moody child so that was very unlike me. She got online and everything pointed to symptoms of type 1 diabetes. So we went into the doctor and she pretty much knew what the result was going to be.
Of course, I did not understand it all and didn’t know what diabetes was. For some weird reason, I always thought diabetes was a pill that helped you relieve gas. I don’t know why, but that’s what my 8-year-old mind thought it was.
Unfortunately, I was in the hospital for five days. And my family was and has always been very supportive, telling me I can do everything I could do before and that diabetes won’t stop me.
What tools do you use for diabetes management?
I use an insulin pen. I have never done the pump. There’s always been something that has kind of turned me off (about pumping), so I’ve leaned toward injections. I’m sure at some point in my life I will try it. I like to hear people’s opinions on both.
You just celebrated your eight-year “diaversary,” did you do anything special?
We normally go out to eat. When I was younger, I’d have a very “unhealthy” meal and people would laugh that I was eating such an unhealthy meal with diabetes, and I said, “Exactly!” I think it’s important that we can sometimes go out and eat a dessert — especially being this age being able to do that.
Let’s talk about your performance career – you actually started out very young, before being diagnosed with T1D, right?
Yeah, I was born and raised in Texas, in a small town west of Fort Worth. I live with my parents and two older brothers. I started doing…