Sierra Sandison is known to many as Miss Idaho 2014. During the swimsuit portion of the Miss Idaho pageant, Sandison walked the stage in a two piece bathing suit with her insulin pump attached to her hip. She added another public title to her resume almost instantly: juvenile diabetic. Sierra smiled at the crowd proudly and people on Twitter reacted in a big way. Sierra and her pump went viral
Though her diagnosis occurred just a short time ago, in 2012, Sandison has quickly become a passionate advocate for juvenile diabetes. E! News reported that Sierra was inspired to overcome her own apprehension about wearing her pump on stage by Miss America 1999, Nicole Johnson, who also suffers from juvenile diabetes.
“Seeing [Johnson] on stage with the insulin pump, seeing that I could still be beautiful with the pump, and it didn’t’ make me less. She not only overcame it, but used it to serve others, really inspired me,” Sierra told E!.
Though Sierra has gotten some negative feedback for wearing her pump on stage, most of the reactions she’s received have been positive. Sierra used the hashtag #ShowMeYourPump to reach out to others. She wanted to increase awareness of juvenile diabetes and send a positive message about her accessory and what it means for the medical community- self management.
When Sierra prompted people to use this hashtag, this was some of the feedback she received from Twitter users:
Kristina Dooley ‘@KristinaDooley’ told Sierra, “Thx to @sierra_anne93 for being a role model to kids like our @InspiredBysla! You rock!”
Molly B ‘@VintageReader’ says “Excellent!” She retweeted an NPR article that talks all about Sierra’s empowering accessory.
Olivia Sleadd ‘@sleaddo’ says, “I absolutely love this story! I just wish that she wore an ACCU-CHEK AVIVA COMBO insulin pump.”
Khurt Williams ‘@khurtwilliams’ reflected on his own insulin pump in response to Sierra, saying, “But I’ve always worn my pump visibly.”
Kristin ‘@klewing’ reveals that, “I may be biased but @MissIdahoOrg is ridiculously amazing. And awesome. And beautiful.” Kristin tells Sierra that she’s a big fan of her charity, that was created through inspiration by her disease.
Miriam E. Tucker ‘@MiriamETucker’ backs Sierra’s accessory up, saying, “It’s cool to display your medical device.”
Whether you’re a juvenile diabetic or not, it seems that Sierra Sandison has inspired a legion of people using social media to reveal their medical conditions. She empowers her followers, showing the world that juvenile diabetes is nothing to be ashamed of.
As a juvenile diabetic myself, this intern can relate.
Letting others see your medical condition is nothing to be shameful about. It’s empowering to show that you value your health and are providing your own self-care. Sierra’s insulin pump says this and more. It’s a message to the world that many people struggle with disease every day, we just might not be aware that others are struggling.
According to Jdrf.org, three million people in the United States suffer from juvenile diabetes. Sierra’s part of this number, but for showing her inner beauty in this way, we mark her down as one in a million.
We at The Daily Quirk thank you for setting an example Sierra! Congratulations on your accomplishments.
Sending Quirky love your way, both to Sierra and others coping with disease, The Daily Quirk.