Monday, July 21, 2014

Miss Idaho has type 1 diabetes -- and isn't afraid to show off her insulin pump!

I was thrilled to see the NPR story on Thursday about Miss Idaho, who competed in the Miss Idaho pageant with her insulin pump visible to the world.

I've always taken my shots in plain sight of everyone, despite the responses of some people who seem to think I would be embarrassed to do so, or that it's something private.  I've never agreed with either attitude, so it's encouraging to me to see a beautiful young woman, a cultural icon like this, helping to change society's opinion about such things.  I hope a lot of girls, teens, and women with type 1 diabetes are encouraged to be less ashamed or embarrassed by their condition because of Sierra Sandison.

From the NPR article:

In her blog, Sandison, 20, of Twin Falls, Idaho, says that she used injections when she began competing in pageants because "I didn't want people to see a weird-tubey-machine-thing attached to me all the time, and could not wrap my head around having a medical device on my body for the rest of my life."

What changed her mind for the Miss Idaho pageant on July 12th? Hearing about Miss America 1999, Nicole Johnson, who also wore an insulin pump during the competition, although not visibly. Sandison writes, "Miss America 1999 has an insulin pump, and it doesn't make her any less beautiful. In fact, in my mind, it enhances her beauty!"
 Having a pump -- something that is small and actually in no way interferes with someone's beauty -- definitely should not be something people are ashamed of!

If you want to join the movement Sandison has started, you too can post a picture of yourself and your pump on Twitter.  Just use the hashtag #showmeyourpump and let your picture speak for itself.  Lets show the youngest generation of diabetics that they don't need to be ashamed of their diabetes!

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