Living with Diabetes
As the first Miss America with type one, or "insulin dependent," diabetes,
Nicole Johnson likes to say that success is based on perseverance, not perfection.
Throughout the grueling pageant...except for the swimsuit competition...Johnson
wore her portable insulin pump:
Johnson: "It looks like I'm wearing a little pager (laugh)
but there's a tube attached to it."
Johnson, whose condition was diagnosed when she was 19, says women with diabetes
should not feel guilty over the emotional swings often related to the disease:
Johnson: "Learn to realize that it's not you that is maybe being
moody or over-emotional...but many times that's related to the glucose levels."
The crucial task of controlling blood sugar can be especially difficult for
any young woman, but Johnson has thrived on challenges:
Johnson: "Diabetes, or any kind of chronic condition or
medical challenge, is an opportunity for growth and strength building."
Johnson has logged over 250-thousand miles promoting diabetes awareness, prevention
and early detection. Was it worth it?
Johnson: "From the moment that they called my name as Miss America
1999, something happened inside of me that automatically said, okay...it's all
worth it...you are an okay individual despite your condition."
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Created: 7/31/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.