Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and insulin pumps are getting to be semi-regular accessories at beauty pageants. A contestant in the 2017 Miss USA pageant wore her Dexcom CGM onstage this May. In doing so, she joined two Miss America contestants who wore Type 1 diabetes gear in competition in recent years.
Krista Ferguson (“Miss Michigan”) decided to wear her CGM on her arm during parts of the competition because she wanted to raise awareness about diabetes. Ferguson received a surprise diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in 2015 when she went to the hospital for a different health issue; afterwards, she realized she had been suffering from symptoms for years, but didn’t know enough about the condition to seek treatment, according to a report in Glamour.
“It’s an invisible disease, and a lot of people don’t understand what I have to go through, or whatever any other diabetic, Type 1 or Type 2, (has) to go through,” she said in a Miss USA promotional video.
As far as we know, Ferguson is the first Miss USA contestant to be open about a diabetes diagnosis, but she joins a small group of Miss America contestants with Type 1 diabetes. In 2016, Caroline Carter wore her CGM while competing as Miss New Hampshire. Two years earlier, Sierra Sandison helped launch the #showmeyourpump hashtag after she wore her pump in plain view while competing as Miss Idaho. And in 1998 and 1999, Nicole Johnson became the first finalist to be open about her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis and insulin pump use as Miss Virginia and Miss America.
Read more: Miss Idaho and Pump Life Pride
For the record, Ferguson was not crowned Miss USA during the 2017 competition; that title went to Kara McCullough (“Miss D.C.”). You can follow Ferguson during her reign as Miss Michigan at @MissMIUSA.
Photo courtesy of Krista Ferguson
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