Miss South Carolina 2015, Daja Dial, is the newest member of our Celebrity Cabinet and has joined the fight to Stop Diabetes. A family history of type 2 diabetes, plus her brother’s struggles with late-onset type 1 diabetes, led Dial to support the cause.
Read on to learn more about her story and how winning the Miss America 2016 title would help drive more awareness about diabetes. And don’t forget to tune in live on Sunday, September 13 (9:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET) on the ABC Network.
I am Daja Dial, Miss South Carolina 2015, and I am an advocate for people with type 1 and 2 diabetes. My brother lives with type 1, my grandmother has prediabetes and my great-grandmother, at 92 years old, is blind from complications of type 2. This family history, plus my brother’s struggles with accepting his disease and transitioning to adulthood, led me to join the fight. I vowed to do all that I possibly could to keep others from experiencing that same struggle!
This week I am in Atlantic City, New Jersey, vying for the title of Miss America 2016. I have recently concluded my preliminary interview with the judges and had the honor of winning the Lifestyle and Fitness preliminary! At the forefront of my mind during the intense 10-minute interview was my brother, my grandmother, great-grandmother and the nearly 30 million other Americans living with diabetes.
Winning Miss America would be a dream come true. Not because I would have a new crown or a new title, but because it would provide me a bigger stage to make a difference for all people with diabetes. For me the crown is about believing in myself, and believing that I can make a difference. Far too many lives are impacted and taken early by diabetes. I believe that can be changed.
I want everyone to believe in themselves. Believe that you can overcome your struggle. Believe you have power to manage your diabetes, no matter the type. Believe that you can make a difference in your life and the lives of others. Believe we will find a cure.
And believe there are passionate people out there working every day to inspire, encourage and motivate that change. I believe we will Stop Diabetes, and I’m thrilled to be a part of that!
To learn more about Daja, read her interview in Diabetes Forecast.