Beauty and the Beast may be on an extended hiatus until June, but fans of the show continue to express their love and dedication throughout the break. Beasties, as they are affectionately called, have campaigned continuously for the show’s renewal through various methods, including raising money for charity.
Remember the “nuts” campaign to get Jericho renewed? The Beasties have taken it to another level and used their combined force for charity. Austin Basis, who plays J.T. Forbes, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 9 years old.
Basis is active on Twitter, regularly interacts with fans, and is a huge supporter of JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). The Beasties took their love for the show and pledged to support his cause.
Their JDRF “Save a Life – Save Beauty and the Beast” campaign has raised over $15,000.
During a phone interview, Basis expressed gratitude for all the fans have done in support of the show and JDRF, “They are passionate and committed to the show. … They are willing to go the extra mile and raise money for charity and talk to the advertisers and do things that are above and beyond.”
“They have such ingenuity to show the network that there’s an audience out there that’s not being counted by the Nielsen ratings. They will tune in and watch the show wherever it’s put on as long as it’s continued.”
Next year, Basis will have lived with diabetes for 30 years and he spreads the word of his success whenever he can. He wants young people with type 1 diabetes to know that they can have big dreams and succeed.
“Everyone has their individual story. … I just happen to be an actor with type 1 diabetes. The more that kids see that there are adults succeeding in dream careers and in positive careers — whether it’s being an athlete, a musician, or an actor or an artist or a doctor, a surgeon, a scientist, even a successful teacher — the more they won’t look at being diagnosed and living with type 1 diabetes as an impediment or something that would prevent them from doing what they want to do with their lives. And not living a normal childhood or holding them back in some way.”
While supporting a television show and supporting important research for juvenile diabetes are not even close to being on the same level of importance in the big picture, the Beasties have taken their love of Beauty and the Beast and put it to good use.
Basis stressed the importance to him of both fundraising and speaking out about his experience, “Raising money is important. They are coming up with new techniques that might take the worry of living with type 1 diabetes, but until that point I feel the obligation — because of the people who have helped me live a normal life — to give back and to let kids and also adults know that there is a life beyond type-1 diabetes.”
During the conversation with Basis, he said something quite inspirational, “I shouldn’t use diabetes as a crutch or an excuse to not achieve my dreams or at least try to reach for my dreams.”
No matter what life throws at you, those are words to live by.
Beauty and the Beast season 2 returns on Monday, June 2 at 9 pm ET on the CW.
(Image courtesy of Oink & Coo Photography.)