Miss Idaho Inspires Diabetics Worldwide

Jul 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm |

Diabetic Sierra Sandison

Susan Hessing Photography

Sierra Sandison, from Magic Valley, was crowned as Miss Idaho over 19 other Idaho women contestants . She embraced her diabetes diagnosis with pride and wore her insulin pump throughout the entire contest while vying for the title. Sandison has become a role model to many and set precedents for future pageant contestants. She will now compete in the Miss America Pageant in September.

2014 Miss Idaho

Drew Nash, AP Photo

Times News reports that “it has been 21 years since a woman from the Magic Valley was selected to represent Idaho in the Miss America Pageant. The last to win was RoseAnna Holliday, director of the Miss Magic Valley organization, who won the Miss Idaho title in 1993.” The overly excited Sandison stated:

“It totally flipped my world upside down. Before I started competing in pageants, I wanted to completely ignore diabetes and hope it would go away.”

Johnson’s story was one of the biggest influences for Sandison and is a reason why she started participating in pageants. “After her diagnosis, Sandison was crowned Miss Pocatello. A year later, she won the Miss Magic Valley crown.” After being crowned more than once, her thoughts about diabetes had had become clear to her. She stated:

“Even if you have an insulin pump, you are not less beautiful. Maybe I can be Nicole Johnson for someone.”

The last diabetic to wear an insulin pump on stage and win the Miss America crown was Nicole Johnson in 1999. We hope to see Sandison follow in Johnson’s footsteps, giving hope and inflicting pride on other diabetic contestants.

1999 Miss America Nicole Johnson

1999 Miss America Nicole Johnson
Charles Rex Arbogast, Associated Press

On the Miss Idaho Organization Facebook page, people are showing their own photos of themselves with pumps, using the hashtag #showmeyourpump. The online campaign has extended beyond those with diabetes. Sandison said one girl sent in a picture of herself wearing hearing aids.


Miss Idaho wears her insulin pump with style. Check out the gallery of those who have followed her lead. #ShowMeYourPump