To raise awareness for diabetes, the American Diabetes Association has made the month of November the official National Diabetes Month. To learn more about diabetes, CelebSecrets4U sat down with Brec Bassinger, star of Nickelodeon’s Bella and the Bulldogs, to hear her story and how she is educating her fans about this disease.
Brec is a Type 1 diabetic. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. As a result, Brec monitors her sugar intake every day and gives herself special insulin shots, while also watching what she eats.
When Brec is not filming Bella and the Bulldogs, she is the face for JDRF’s T1D Looks Like Me Awareness campaign. Brec’s billboard is hanging in New York’s Times Square as she continues to lend her support by educating and raising awareness about type 1 diabetes (T1D).
CelebSecrets4U caught up with Brec Bassinger recently to talk about her struggle with Type 1 Diabetes. In our interview, Brec talks about how she felt when she received the news, how her lifestyle has changed since the diagnosis, and her involvement with the JDRF’s T1D Looks Like Me Awareness campaign. She also talks about what’s to come on Bella and the Bulldogs and her favorite Thanksgiving traditions — make sure to read the Q&A below!
Make sure to catch a new episode of Bella and the Bulldogs tonight @ 8PM ET/PT on Nickelodeon.
CS4U: You’ve been a busy girl lately! With the premiere of Liar Liar Vampire, your show Bella and the Bulldogs– and now you’re the face of JDRF’s T1D Look Like Me awareness campaign! Can you tell us more about that?
Brec Bassinger: “I know it’s been a whirlwind! I’ve been a type 1 diabetic for almost 8 years now so it’s always been really close to my heart. We reached out to them because I wanted to be a part of it and they welcomed me with open arms. I was able to go to the walk in LA and meet other type 1 diabetics so it’s all been a great experience.”
CS4U: You were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 8. I know you were very young, but do you remember how you felt when you received the news?
Brec Bassinger: “I didn’t know what diabetes was when I was first diagnosed. I just saw my parents’ reaction and knew that it was something to take seriously, but luckily my family was so supportive. They’ve always told me that it wasn’t going to change my life or stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I was taught that and that’s just the way I’ve lived.”
CS4U: Do you think that your lifestyle is very different than other teens your age?
Brec Bassinger: “I definitely have to watch what I eat, just because every time I eat carbohydrates, I have to take medicine for it. But it’s mainly just that. Fortunately, there is a great way to take care of it and remain healthy. I just have to watch it very closely.”
CS4U: Do you have any advice for fans that have also been diagnosed with diabetes or are going through a similar struggle?
Brec Bassinger: “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. You’re a person who happens to have diabetes, not just a diabetic. I think that’s really important to live by.”
CS4U: That’s great advice! Now you’re going to have a billboard up in New York soon! How excited are you to have that up in Time Square?
Brec Bassinger: “I’m so excited! I texted my dad because this is actually the second billboard in Times Square this year, Bella and the Bulldogs had one for a couple weeks. That’s twice in a year! I sent my dad a photo and he said, “Once in a lifetime thing, not twice in a lifetime.” I never could have dreamt of that! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see this one in person, but I saw the Bella and the Bulldogs one in person and that was really exciting!”
CS4U: Amazing! So speaking of Bella and The Bulldogs, you guys are currently on its 2nd season! Can you tell us what your viewers can expect from the upcoming episodes?
Brec Bassinger: “There’s a lot more relationship drama! Bella is kind of in a love triangle with these two boys and she has to try to figure that out. I remember from when I was younger, I used to get into the relationship drama on TV so I’m excited for our viewers to see that!”
CS4U: If you had a chose between the two boys, who would you pick?
Brec Bassinger: “Everyone on set keeps asking me that and we’re all best friends so I can’t make that decision! But if it was between their characters, I would pick Zach Barnes because his character is a rivalry football player. He’s kind of like “the bad boy, turned good” and I’ve always been attracted to that.”
CS4U: Nice! As you know, the holidays are coming up! Do you have a family tradition you do every year?
Brec Bassinger: “Yes! Every Thanksgiving we go to my grandparents’ house and we all eat until we’re all so full we can barely move! Then we always watch the Cowboys play football together.”
CS4U: Sounds like fun! So Liar Liar Vampire came out last month and it was amazing! How does it feel to see all the good reception your first movie has received?
Brec Bassinger: “It’s been so fabulous! I’m very, very proud of it. We all worked so hard on that movie and it was a different experience. I played Vi who’s a very different character compared to Bella, so it took some time for me to format my character. But to see the results of how it ended up makes me so proud of it.”
CS4U: That’s awesome! Now since we are CelebSecrets4U, do you have any secrets about yourself or MORE backstage secrets from Liar Liar Vampire?
Brec Bassinger: “Actually, there is a behind the scenes secret on Liar Liar Vampire and it’s that each character has their own color. So for like my character, Vi, her color was purple. So on every single outfit, she had purple on! And then Rahart’s was blue. So with every outfit, he wore the color blue! I thought that was really unique and fun!”
Reporting Credit: Jeanie Reah