By David Ashby
"Sierra Sandison, 19, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a year ago. But Sandison said that she learned that addressing her ailment one day at a time and keeping a positive attitude was enough for her to overcome the disease....
Every contestant is required to have a platform, which is a social or community issue that is important to the contestant and society at large. Sandison’s platform will focus on diabetes education and prevention. Diabetes, a disease that has greatly affected Sandison and her family members, is classified as an “epidemic” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with an estimated 26 million Americans diagnosed.
The disease is divided into two classifications: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in patients who often require daily injections of insulin due to the body’s failure to produce natural insulin. Type 2 diabetes is when a patient fails to utilize the insulin the body naturally produces, leading to insulin deficiency.
The disease can serve as a precursor for a large number of other ailments, including cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, or vascular diseases that can lead to amputations of the patient’s extremities.
“I really want to educate people, especially children, about how to identify the symptoms for Type 1 diabetes and to seek treatment so it can be diagnosed as early as possible, and to encourage those with Type 2 diabetes to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to fight the disease,” Sandison said."
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