Being diagnosed with any illness is a struggle; awareness, health changes, etc., but it’s even more difficult when you have to create these changes when you are only a child. Usher understands these difficulties as his seven-year-old son, Usher Raymond V, also known as Cinco, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

During a chat with PEOPLE at the JDRF‘s Promise Ball, which raises awareness and money for research and a cure, Usher opens up about his son’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis one year ago.

“A child that every day has to prick himself and has to be cautious of what he eats and also to carry this disorder around — that really is the type of bravery that we all aspire to have,” says the R&B crooner.

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Usher says, while it is a huge change for his son, it is just as much as a trying change for him as well, as a father.

“There’s been some difficult moments. I have a great deal of understanding of what people have to deal with. It’s personal,” he says. “I want to be supportive not only as someone who’s vying for a cure, but also as a father who has a child who’s experienced a lot of highs and lows.”

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