Manhattan Beach Teen Gets Surprise of Her Life: Meeting Nick Jonas
New York, NY (May, 2009) -- Rachel Humphrey, a Manhattan Beach, CA, teenager with type 1 diabetes, was granted her biggest wish -- (well, almost) -- when she came face to face with her hero, Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers.
Rachel, 13, was selected to appear on the No. 1 new syndicated talk show, “The Doctors,” but she had no idea that she would meet Nick Jonas on the set! The segment, titled "Giving is Good Medicine," will air on Friday, May 8th.
The plan began when the show’s producers contacted the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF), the organization that hosted the Carnival for a Cure event in New York City in 2007, where Nick Jonas first revealed he has type 1 diabetes. They were in search of a young girl with diabetes who is also a huge fan of the Jonas Brothers. Chosen for her outgoing personality and eagerness to be a positive role model for other kids with the disease, Rachel, who was excited about that opportunity in and of itself, planned to use the experience to spread the word to kids like her that “there is support out there and you are not alone.”
While filming the segment, one of the show’s expert co-hosts, Dr. Travis Stork, shocked her with the news that Nick Jonas heard her story and wanted to meet her. Feeling like the luckiest girl in the world, Rachel, along with her mother, Susan, was whisked away in a limo, emerging at a Hollywood studio where the Jonas Brothers were in the midst of a photo shoot. After Nick entered the room where she was anxiously waiting, they shook hands, sat down on a couch and began discussing their personal experiences about being diagnosed with the disease and its day-to-day management.
To her delight, Nick gave Rachel a necklace inscribed with the words, “A Little Bit Longer and I’ll be Fine,” which are the lyrics to a hit Jonas Brothers song. She put it around her neck immediately, knowing that it will serve as a constant reminder of their shared moment - and their hope for a cure.
Rachel is looking forward to watching her television debut and is crossing her fingers that other kids with diabetes will be just as inspired by Nick Jonas’s message as she was.
“I could relate to him so easily,” Rachel said after spending ten minutes engrossed in conversation with her idol. “He has three brothers and I have three sisters, so we both have a strong support network. Yet we –- even Nick -- still get down sometimes.”
A girl who loves playing softball and going to the beach, Rachel felt like diabetes had put her life on hold after her diagnosis on January 30, 2007, at age 11. That was just a few months before Nick made his own announcement in March. Rachel remembers her friends shrieking in disbelief, “He is going through the same thing you are!” Before that, the 13-year-old had been a fan of Jonas Brothers, but when she realized Nick was working so hard to advocate for the cause they now shared, he became her role model.
“I went in [to the show] just wanting to help educate others about type 1 diabetes, and I came out meeting a superstar,” Rachel said, gushing about her experience filming the segment. “Hopefully, with his popularity, we can spread awareness and bring in enough donations to help researchers find a cure.”