The Superheroes Living With Type 1 Diabetes


DC Comics Superheroes

Brec Bassinger a.k.a. Stargirl

Stargirl is a DC Comics series broadcast on via DC Comics Infinite since 2020, before being shown on the channel The CW

The series’ heroine is Stargirl – real name Courtney Whitmore – and she first appeared in the comics in 1999. She’s a high-school student by day and defender of justice by night, chosen by a scepter with mysterious powers.

While the series itself doesn’t have any T1D characters, Brec Bassinger, who play Stargirl, has been living with type 1 diabetes since she was 8 years old. Since she started her new life as an actress in Los Angeles, she’s continued to return to her hometown of Texas every 3 months for regular check-ups. Health comes first!

Brec Bassinger wants to inspire young people living with T1D. She explained it to us:

The week of my diagnosis, People magazine published an article about Nick Jonas [a singer who also lives with T1D, ed.], and my mom showed it to me, and she said, “See, if he can do it, so can you.” I remember feeling so inspired and so motivated. I said to myself, “I want to be Nick Jonas for someone else.”

She’s certainly on the right track! On top of being an actress in a series aimed largely at teens and young adults, she’s also an ambassador for  JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and speaks at conferences and charity events dedicated to diabetes. 

Cameron Gellman a.k.a. Hourman

Brec Bassinger wasn’t the only with type 1 diabetes on the set of Stargirl.

Actor Cameron Gellman, who plays Rick Tyler/Hourman, also has T1D.

Before Stargirl, neither Brec Bassinger nor Cameron Gellman had ever shared the screen with another person who has type 1 diabetes. On the set, they each understood each other’s experience, which allowed them to help each other and make life easier.

Like Bassinger, Gellman was delighted to be able to play a “strong and cool” superhero, even with his diabetes.

Ever since he was a little boy, Cameron Gellman has loved getting on-stage and acting. Super comfortable when it comes to public speaking, he is also a JRDF ambassador alongside his acting career.

Read more:

Are you more of a Marvel fan or a DC Comics lover? Well, we’d recommend checking out the animated series New Warriors.

The Superheroes Of Marvel

Derek Theler a.k.a. Mister Immortal

Actor Derek Theler, who lives with type 1 diabetes, was supposed to play one of the main characters: Mister Immortal, in the series New Warriors.

Invited onto the Diabetes Connections podcast, Derek explained how he and his sister, who also has T1D, grew up without knowing any other people living with diabetes, and that is why he now wants to be a role model for kids like his sister and him. 

Initially, Theler was going to be an endocrinologist! However, after spending vacations in Los Angeles, where he met actors and actresses, he decided to go ahead and become a superhero.

Unfortunately, although a pilot was filmed for the series, New Warriors was never released, and Derek Theler hasn’t yet shown off his T1D superhero skills. 

That didn’t stop him from talking publicly about his diabetes, while taking on one of the lead roles in Baby Daddy. Plus, when he auditioned for the series, the audition process took longer than expected, and he had to skip lunch. By the time it was his turn to audition, he was hypoglycemic and struggled to think and speak.

After the audition, he called the casting team to explain the situation. They let him do a repeat of the audition, and he was selected!

Read more: New Job: Should You Talk About Your Type 1 Diabetes?

T1D actors and actresses who play superheroes – there are more of these heroes for people living with diabetes than you think. Brec Bassinger, Cameron Gellman, and Derek Theler have taken on the role, showing others that if these guys can do it, so can they!

Discover other celebrities with type 1 diabetes!


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