Miss Idaho Shows Off Her Insulin Pump, Encourages Others to Flaunt Theirs on Social Media
Photo by Susan Hessing Photography/Facebook
Miss Idaho, aka Sierra Anne Sandison, could certainly be posting pictures of crowns and jewels all over her Twitter page. But the beauty queen is choosing to show off another accessory — her insulin pump.
Sandison, a 20-year-old diabetic, was crowned Miss Idaho last Saturday and has talked openly about how she felt when she got diagnosed with type 1 adult-onset diabetes in 2012. She tweeted a picture of herself lying on her bed, wearing her Miss Idaho sash and crown, a Wonder Woman sweatshirt, and an insulin pump. She tagged the photo #showmeyourpump and encouraged friends and followers to share their own empowering pictures. The hashtag has been promoted by several diabetes organizations, including Diabetes UK, and is garnering dozens of tweets and photos in response, with new updates pouring in constantly.
"My world was flipped upside down by my diabetes diagnosis," Sandison wrote in her official Miss Idaho blog. “For a while, I pretended that I didn’t have diabetes, hoping it would go away. That led to crazy blood sugars, of course, and a very sick, grumpy and discouraged Sierra. … At Miss Idaho 2014, as most of you know, I made the decision to wear my pump on stage while competing. That decision took me two long years to make. When I first started competing [in pageants], I was using injections rather than a pump. 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.”
But there was something — well someone, actually — who helped Sandison change her mind: Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999, who competed in the pageant and won while wearing an insulin pump. Johnson writes and speaks about living with diabetes and authored a cookbook, “Nicole Johnson’s Diabetes Recipe Makeovers.” Once she learned about Johnson, that was all the inspiration Sandison needed to show off her insulin pump with pride.