Brec Bassinger was born and raised in Saginaw, Texas, with her parents and her two older brothers. At age 8, Bassinger was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, but that didn’t slow her down from pursuing a career in entertainment. She entered and won the World Our Little Miss Pageant1 in 2009 at age 10 and took acting classes in the Dallas area. She ventured to Hollywood at age 13 and soon booked a guest-starring role in the pilot of The Goldbergs, followed by a recurring role in The Haunted Hathaways. Then she booked the lead in Nickelodeon’s Bella and the Bulldogs2, a show about a popular head cheerleader named Bella Dawson whose life takes an unexpected twist when she becomes the quarterback of her school football team. She has appeared in the film Liar, Liar, Vampire and just wrapped the feature comedy Status Update, which is scheduled to be in theaters in 2017.
Bassinger was made an ambassador for JDRF this year, and is looking forward to the conference in Washington, DC, next year. Recently, 17-year-old Bassinger walked the Orange Carpet at the Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports awards. Prior to her television career, she was the vice president of her school’s National Junior Honor Society and a competitive cheerleader, among other activities. She graduated from high school at the age of 16. In her free time she enjoys hiking, shopping and hanging out with her friends.
What is your state of mind today?
My state of mind today is joy and positivity. I know I work hard and do my best in everything I do. That being said I can look at every situation with a positive heart.
What three words would you use to describe who you are?
Quirky, outgoing, hardworking.
How does diabetes change – or not change – who you are?
Just because you have to test your blood sugar or give yourself a shot does not mean you aren’t funny, does not mean you don’t love math, does not mean you don’t love to paint. Just because you have diabetes does not change who you are. You are still the same person. If anything you are most likely a stronger person because you know how to overcome the toughest of obstacles.
What inspires you to do what you do?
I truly love acting with all my heart. The adrenaline I get when I walk into an audition and the joy I get when I book another job truly inspire me to do what I do.
What role, on stage or screen, have you always dreamt of playing but haven’t … yet?
A role on screen I have always dreamt of playing but haven’t yet is a role in a movie that is based on a book or book series. I love movies that are the screenplays of books and it is one of my dreams to be a part of a project like that.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
The thing I appreciate most in my friends is honesty. I think honesty is one of the most important parts of friendship because without it you won’t be able to trust each other.
What would you pack for your favorite vacation?
I would pack a swimsuit because it would be somewhere on the beach in the warm sun!
What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Lots of fruit! Strawberries, grapes, watermelon, etc.
What is your favorite way to relieve stress?
My favorite way to relieve stress is hiking. Being outdoors, exercising, releases so many endorphins and can relieve any of my stress.
What is your idea of happiness?
My idea of happiness is being surrounded by people you love and who love you.
What do you most dislike?
I dislike when my blood sugar goes low right after I finish eating!
What’s your favorite diabetes management tip?
My favorite diabetes management tip is to exercise. My blood sugar [level] is so much easier to [manage] when I work out consistently.
People living with diabetes may sometimes blame themselves. What words of encouragement would you give them so they can let go of the blame?
You should never blame yourself for your diabetes. You just have to do the best you can with what you are given. I always try to look at the positive in situations.
Everyone gets stuck in a rut now and then. What do you do to re-motivate yourself?
To re-motivate myself when I am in a rut, I really try to picture what I want in life. I vividly imagine my next job, or getting a good grade on a test, and that helps re-motivate myself to work hard and achieve those goals.
What words do you try to live by?
I try to live by the words of love. Love everyone and everything.
What is your greatest fear?
My biggest irrational fear is worms. I have always been scared of them.
What is your greatest extravagance?
My greatest extravagance is my makeup collection.
What does diabetes advocacy mean to you? What goals do you have for upcoming diabetes projects and initiatives?
To me, diabetes advocacy means spreading the word. There are so many misconceptions about type 1, and spreading information is my diabetes advocacy. A diabetes project I am looking forward to is going to Children’s Congress in 2017. I remember writing a paper when I was 10 years old trying to be chosen to go to Children’s Congress and rally support for T1D, and now, seven years later, getting to go, I am beyond excited! I am also super stoked for my upcoming year as a JDRF National Ambassador and all of the projects and events that come along with that.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Some of the heroes in my real life are my parents. They love me and my brothers so much, and would do anything for us, and it inspires me to love the world and the people on it.
What are you looking forward to right now?
I am looking forward to Halloween! I am such a Halloween geek and it is always my favorite time of the year.
All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the interviewee and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies or affiliates.
1 Our Little Miss Pageant is a copyright of Our Little Miss, Inc.
2 Nickelodeon and Bella and the Bulldogs are copyrights of Viacom International Inc., a division of Viacom International Inc.
© 2016 The DX: The Diabetes Experience