From the outside a person living with diabetes looks just like any other person, and Sierra Sandison, a type 1 diabetic and newly crowned Miss Idaho, is no exception. A new hero for type 1 diabetics, Sierra proved that wearing an insulin pump doesn’t make you any less beautiful.

In 1999 Miss America Nicole Johnsson wore her insulin pump, but not visibly, during the competition. Inspired by the courage Nicole showed, Sierra decided that she would wear her insulin pump attached to her bikini bottom during the swimsuit competition.

In an interview with NPR Sierra says, “I think diabetes technology has become more socially acceptable because of the dominance of social media and our 'selfie' culture. Our culture seems to be more accepting today, as opposed to when I was diagnosed in 1993."

Miss Idaho will continue her diabetes advocacy and hopes to inspire others to not hide who they are. Wearing an insulin pump is nothing to be ashamed of. To read more about how you can step out of the shadows and show the world that you are more than your disease, see Putting It All Out There by our Diabetic Connect contributor Jeanette Terry.

To learn more about insulin pumps:

Pesky Pump Problems
Getting to Know Your Insulin Pump
Are You Ready for an Insulin Pump?

Photo Credit: NPR