Catching Up with Miss America—Nicole Johnson Dreams of an Artificial Pancreas

| Aug 1, 1999

DI: First, we have a message to pass along. Shannon Openshaw called us, from Bemidji, Minnesota. Her 11-year-old daughter, Adrienne, was diagnosed with diabetes in March. Shannon and Adrienne want to tell you that you gave her courage. She was feeling like she was going to have to give up a lot, but you changed that. They say, thanks.

NJ: How sweet! I am thrilled to have been able to play a part in Adrienne's recognition that diabetes does not have to stop her. You go, girl! Keep up the good work, and remember, you can do or be anything you want as long as you are in control of your diabetes. At times, it may seem tough. Remember, you have to control it. Don't let it control you.

DI: What is your dream diabetes product? Besides "the cure," what would you want?

NJ: My dream product is a device that would function like an artificial pancreas. It would read my blood glucose levels, and then administer insulin according to those readings. The device would have a remote control, with which I could download all of its information into my computer. I could then graph it to see the results and progress. It would be very small-so small that no one would ever know I was wearing it.

This magical device would be the closest thing to heaven, at least for me. It would provide me with a carefree life- without finger sticks, shots, reactions or complications. As a matter of fact, I think this device is on its way.

DI: Do you take any vitamins? If so, what kinds and amounts?

NJ: I take calcium supplements and sometimes a multivitamin. Honestly, the Flintstones are my favorites. I'm just a kid at heart!

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Columns, Diabetes, Inspiration, Insulin, Islet & Pancreas Transplant, Type 1 Issues


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