Insulin Pump Demystified

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pumping "Idols"

I've been an American Idol fan since season 1, but this year, I never got completely connected to any of top 12 finalists. Blame it on my crush on last season's sultry Constantine, but I never felt like any of the 12 really grabbed me in the same way.

Now the season's over, Taylor Hicks is our Idol and when I watched both him and runner-up Kathryn McPhee being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest on the Larry King show Friday night, I drifted off to sleep.

But now--now that it's over--I realize that I was actually watching the most exciting season of American Idol yet! How embarressing--I just found out, in the last few days, that two contestants--Elliott Yamin and Kevin Couvais--have Type 1 diabetes and are pump users!

Actually, I was into Elliott's voice, I just never fell in love with him completely. But now, I am crazy for him--Elliott is out there, speaking about living with Type 1 and hopes to use his new-found celebrity (for those of you who don't watch, he made it to number three) to educate people about diabetes. Go Elliott!

Kevin is a high school student, clearly not on the same kind of career path as Elliott at the moment, but you've got to give him props for both competing with much more mature talent and also being open about his diabetes and pump.

In our celebrity-worshipping culture, having celebs speak out about the pump and and about diabetes in general is now doubt an important strategy for educating the general public. I can tell you that when Nicole Johnson (Baker) became Miss America in 1998, it was the first time that I really considered switching to a pump. Elliott--and Kevin to a lesser degree--could make wearing a pump into a cool thing for the millions of kids out there living with Type 1.

Elliott, I'm so sorry I didn't jump on your boat when my voting would have helped you, but let me praise you now: You rock! (BTW, read more about Elliott at

Happy Memorial day--


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