Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he? This quote is from the movie classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. For today’s purposes, we need to change the word man……to woman. And in this case, a specific woman. Her name is Nicole Johnson. And if she was not around, and thankfully she is, the hole would have been enormous.
There were many, many, many stories running around this week about Miss Idaho, Sierra Sandison (pictured above), and her wearing of her insulin pump during last week’s competition where she was crowned. In her own words she will tell you that she did not even want to mention her diabetes much less wear a bathing suit with her pump attached, and someone changed her mind.
“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!”
I have known Nicole for a long time and she is as consistent as the sun rises and falls when it comes to diabetes. I have stated on many occasions that I am not quite sure if other Miss America’s have held fast and true to their platform for change that they talked about when they were crowned, but Nicole’s drive has only become stronger, more dedicated, and more wide-spread.
Her platform about diabetes was truly only the beginning. What she has accomplished with college students, legislation, testifying on the hill, lecturing, and so much more has changed the face of diabetes in this country.
She has always been who she is and many have benefitted from her efforts; and now Sierra Sandison has made it quite clear why she is coming out in full voice about diabetes; it was because of another Miss America who was not afraid to stand up and say after she was told that she should never try to compete again, “If anybody, if anybody should compete; I have a reason to compete. I had a message. I have something that people need to know about. They need to know about this disease.”
That woman was Nicole Johnson. (see the video of her incredible story, here.)
In the fall, a Miss America will be crowned. When no one else would do it, one did. Imagine another young lady with T1 diabetes becoming Miss America?
We can only hope.
I am a diabetes dad.
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