Sierra Sandison’s bikini photo with her insulin pump has generated a lot of buzz on the social media websites. Most contestants try to conceal things during a beauty pageant, but Sandison was bold in her decision to make it public. It has definitely paid off for the newly crowned Miss Idaho. Sierra, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2012, is still making headlines.
“The Director met with me to see what my community service platform to be,” Sandison told E! News. “Since we were at lunch, I had to give myself a shot, and when she saw the shot, the director said, ‘Oh my goodness you’re a diabetic.’ Then proceeded to tell me about Nicole Johnson, who was Miss America in 1999. She actually wore her insulin pump on stage. That gave me the confidence to get one, when I first heard about Nicole.”
“However, the thought of mixing beauty competitions and wearing a visible insulin pump caused Sierra to feel concern,” dBTechno reports. “She originally treated her diabetes with injectable insulin, and she hoped that it would go away,” the site said. Type 1 diabetes is only manageable.
The 20-year-old felt that she could still be beautiful with the insulin pump, and she was right. Sierra Sandison not only overcame the fear of wearing it, but used it to serve others, and that has been an inspiration to many. However, many weren’t sure what was attached to the bottom of her two-piece swimsuit.
“I knew the judges knew what it was, so I was hoping it wouldn’t affect my score in any negative way,” she said. “I did have friends in the audience who told me people were commenting, ‘Did she bring her cellphone on stage?'”
Clearly, wearing the pump didn’t hurt Sandison’s score at all, but she did face some negativity from some. “I have gotten negative feedback, which has been really hurtful, but the positive feedback has been so overwhelming and SO appreciated. I didn’t expect people to understand how scary it was. I didn’t know how’d people would respond. I thought people would think it’s not really a big deal, but it’s been overwhelming to see such positive support, and all the #ShowMeYourPump photos and stories,” Sierra said.
Sierra Sandison, who was crowned Miss Idaho on July 12, initially struggled with her diagnosis of Type I diabetes, according to People. “For a while, I pretended that I didn’t have diabetes, hoping it would go away. That led to crazy blood sugars, of course, and a very sick, grumpy, and discouraged Sierra,” she wrote on her blog. Today, she’s handling quite well and enjoying every minute of her newfound publicity.