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Miss Idaho's insulin pump inspires others with Type 1 diabetes

Sierra Sandison is 20 years old and has Type 1 diabetes. She is also the new Miss Idaho. Last week, she made national headlines after wearing an insulin pump attached to her bikini bottom during the swimsuit competition of the Miss Idaho pageant.

The pump grabbed attention. A Facebook photo of her striding on stage with her insulin pump was shared widely, and Sandison was interviewed by Good Morning America, National Public Radio and other media outlets. In an article, National Public Radio called Sandison "a new hero" to the community of people with Type 1 diabetes.

According to the NPR article, one mother wrote on Facebook that Sandison had made her 11-year-old daughter less self-conscious about wearing a swimming suit while wearing an insulin pump. Sandison created a hashtag, #showmeyourpump and asked people to post their own photos wearing insulin pumps.

According to the American Diabetes Association, Type 1 diabetes is the less common form of the disease and accounts for just 5 percent of all diabetes diagnoses. Usually it is diagnosed in children and young adults. A person who has type 1 diabetes does not produce enough insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of the disease. It happens when a body does not use insulin properly, called insulin resistance. Over time, a body is unable to keep making enough insulin to keep a person's glucose at normal levels.

Neither Type 1 nor Type 2 diabetes is on Social Security's Listing of Impairments, a list of diseases considered so severe that applicants who have the disease at the specified level automatically qualify. But complications from diabetes can be totally disabling and can qualify for disability benefits.

  • Our Coon Rapids-based law firm handles disability claims throughout Minnesota. For more information, visit our page on diabetes.
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