Sierra Sandison, diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2012, was uncertain about whether to wear the insulin pump on stage. Inspired by pageant winner, Nicole Johnson, who also wore an insulin pump (although not visibly) back in 1999, Sierra decided to wear her quite stylish insulin pump clipped to her clothing throughout the Miss Idaho pageant — including during the swimsuit competition.
After her win, Sierra posted this to her blog:
“The media often tells us this lie: if your appearance deviates in any way from cover girls, movie stars, super models, etc., it is a flaw and something is wrong with you. Well, guess what? 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! So, a year after I was diagnosed, I got a pump. It helped me get even better control of my diabetes, and made my life SO much easier. Working up the confidence to compete with it was an entirely different journey, but this summer at Miss Idaho 2014, I finally did it.”
Photos of the new Miss Idaho rocking her insulin pump have taken social media by storm. Fans of Sierra have expressed their support for Sierra and gratitude for her empowering example all over Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #showmeyourpump.
Just as Sierra has begun a medical-device wearers revolution, the manufacturers of her insulin pump — Tandem Diabetes Care — started their own revolution by developing a beautiful, intuitive GUI for their device with Altia’s user interface development tools.