Did you see the Miss America Pageant on Saturday night? I’m not afraid to admit it, I did. Not merely for the talent (which was fun), not for the gowns (really…..how could they not look gorgeous in gowns), not for their answers which the judges threw at them (I have to admit, the questions this year were pretty bold), and not even for the swim suits (I mean really……they’re competing for Miss America,do you expect any of them to look bad in a swimsuit?). Not for any of these reasons, nope.
I watch to hear what the platforms are for each Miss America contestant. According to the Miss America Website a platform for the contestants has been required since 1989.
“…..requires each contestant to choose an issue about which she cares deeply and that is of relevance to our country. Once chosen, Miss America and the state title holders use their stature to address community service organizations, business and civic leaders, the media and others about their platform issues…..”
I find these ‘platforms’ extremely interesting. Can one woman actually change a world advocating something that is personal to her. I admit I am a tad spoiled because as I watched this year’s show, I know one person did just that……changed the world.
How many times have we seen a celebrity who is somehow touched by diabetes? Themselves perhaps, or a loved one who battles diabetes, and what is our first thought: how much of a difference they could make if they utilized their feelings into a ‘diabetes platform’ like is done with Miss America. And to be truthful, many have.
But if you think about it, when it comes to this type of public awareness, or trying to draw attention to a cause, one person still stands alone in heroic efforts for a sustained long period of time. And coincidentally, she is also a Miss America.
In our world of trying to enlist someone with notoriety to help us gain attention in the grand world stage about diabetes, Nicole Johnson’s (Miss America 1999) efforts are tireless to say the least. She has understood the word ‘AND’ more than most who are in the limelight. Many have pursued their platform as a ‘sidenote’, Ms. Johnson has made it her life’s passion.
Her list of accomplishments as spokesperson, advocate, and lecturer are clearly not of the thought process that it needs to be this organization OR that organization. It is this organization AND that organization AND that organization. She has traveled the world with a unified voice that diabetes ‘will just not do’ in this world.
You can read about all of her efforts at her website, Nicole Johnson.com.
Her first hand of experience of living with diabetes captures your attention and yet, it is seeing her on one knee speaking to a little girl after placing that majestic crown upon her head that captures your heart. Ms. Johnson is not afraid to tackle huge issues on Capitol Hill and in State Legislations around the United States, but she also knows how to calm the fears of what a little girl must feel in a world of such unknowns with diabetes. A global approach to a personal life; and she does both better than anyone I’ve ever met.
She will travel anywhere to discuss diabetes, and will also go to a war zone to let soldiers know a homeland has not forgotten them. She can take on big ideas but also help small hands to grasp a crown of jewels. She has the same impact speaking to ten thousand as she does one-on-one. Clearly someone forgot to tell Ms. Johnson that her hectic schedule could calm down a little after her first year of Miss America. In this human dynamo’s life, her hectic schedule only increased.
So this past weekend was the Miss America Contest in Las Vegas; the diabetes community has their own Miss America and has had her since 1999; and we thank her for all she has done…….and I have a feeling she has only just begun; and aren’t we lucky.
I am a diabetes dad
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