A few days ago, Poison frontman Bret Michaels performed at the Toys In The Sun Run charity concert to benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.
The Rock of Love star also donated $5,000 to the cause and later explained that he feels connected to charity because of his own experience living with a chronic illness from an early age onward.
The singer was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was only six years old. Michaels previously told Diabetes Health that before doctors could figure out what was wrong, he went from being a very active child to feeling "really, really worn out."
He also described some of his symptoms, which are typical of Type 1 diabetes, including having a funny taste in his mouth, feeling extreme thirst, and experiencing itchy skin.
The rocker tried to not let the disease slow him down, but things didn't always work out in his favor. Diabetes had gotten in the way of his career more than he'd ever expected; He once collapsed on stage, six songs into a set he was playing at Madison Square Garden, and it wouldn't be the last time that has happened.
Over the years, he has had a couple of near-fatal experiences, including a brain hemorrhage, kidney surgery, an emergency appendectomy, and a transient ischemic attack (hole in the heart) in 2010.
Michaels eventually found ways to cope with his health problems, including exercise, faith, and a strong support system.
"Surrounding myself with my family, my music, and my fans – that’s what helps me keep my health in check because it reminds me how much I want to be here and it pushes me to take care of myself," he told Parade.
However, every once in a while the 55-year-old falls off wagon. This week, he revealed that he "spent the last 3 weeks in [and] out of the emergency room with my kidneys [and] tests on my heart."
This update comes just a month after the singer postponed a concert in Tennessee due to a medical emergency that was later confirmed to be complications related to kidney stones.
"With over 500,000 injections in my lifetime along with blood tests as a result of having Type 1
#Diabetes since age 6, I’ve been feeling a little down lately physically & spiritually," Michaels wrote on Twitter along with a collage showing a shirtless photo of himself as well as pictures of him at the Toys In The Sun Run event.
1/2 I've spent the last 3 weeks in & out of emergency rooms with my kidneys & tests on my heart. With over 500,000 injections in my lifetime along with blood tests as a result of having Type 1 #Diabetes since age 6, I’ve been feeling a little down lately physically & spiritually. pic.twitter.com/OIv6HSS1Nk— Bret Michaels (@bretmichaels) December 10, 2018
In a second tweet, the "Every Rose Has Its Thorns" singer explained that meeting the sick children at the event inspired him to work on improving his health again without any excuses.
“Yesterday spending time in Florida on & off stage with diabetic friends, veterans, especially the kids & their families from @ToysInTheSunRun to benefit @JDCHospital was an amazing moment," he wrote. "Starting today I woke up, got my workout on & my blood sugar right...no more excuses!"
2/2 Yesterday spending time in Florida on & off stage with diabetic friends, veterans, especially the kids & their families from @ToysInTheSunRun to benefit @JDCHospital was an amazing moment. Starting today I woke up, got my workout on & my blood sugar right...no more excuses!🤘🏻 pic.twitter.com/9GdeOYDZS7— Bret Michaels (@bretmichaels) December 10, 2018
Michaels is also inspired by his children, daughters Raine and Jorja, to keep fighting for his health. 18-year-old Raine also suffers from diabetes, and Michaels has been trying "to be a good role model."
"We are doing everything we can to support her in leading a normal, healthy, active life. I’m trying to be a good role model for her," he said during a 2011 interview. "What I want to do is to show her day in, day out, that diabetes doesn’t have to deter her from her dreams. And if she ever feels like she can’t do something because of her diabetes, that’s when I’ll feel like I’ve let her down."