Miss Idaho is making headlines today after her decision to proudly wear her insulin pump during the swimsuit portion of her latest pageant.
Last Saturday night, Sierra Sandison stepped out on stage at the Miss Idaho competition dressed in a bikini and proudly flaunted her insulin pump. 20-year-old Sandison was crowned Miss Idaho that night, but she suddenly became an Internet hero on Monday night after she shared a photo of herself on stage walking with the pump on Facebook.
“Honestly, it is terrifying walking out on stage in a swimsuit, let alone attached to a medical device,” wrote Sandison in her post.
In addition to her Facebook post, the 20-year-old blogged about her experience with type 1 diabetes and how she felt inspired by another beauty queen to not hide her diagnosis.
“When I first started competing, I was using injections rather than a pump,” wrote Sandison. “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. Then, I heard about Nicole Johnson: Miss America 1999. She wore her pump while competing at Miss America. My whole perspective changed.”
After posting her inspirational picture, others from around the world felt moved to share their own experiences with type 1 diabetes and shared pictures of themselves with their pumps, even starting the trending hashtag #showmeyourpumps.
Sandison is set to compete at the Miss America pageant in September, and she says she happy that she can be a voice for those who are living with the disease.
“I have had a million new opportunities to spread the word about diabetes and overcoming obstacles!” wrote Sandison after her picture went viral. “I am overwhelmed with hearing how many lives have been touched by me simply wearing my pump on stage. It means so much to me, and I hope I can touch many more during my year as Miss Idaho.”
Sources: Daily Mail, Today, People
Photo credit: Susan Hessing Photography