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Miss America Wears A Minimed Insulin Pump To Treat Her Diabetes

SYLMAR, CALIFORNIA, Sept. 20, 1998 -- Miss America 1999, Nicole Johnson, wears an insulin pump made by MiniMed Inc., of Sylmar California, the world leader in insulin pump therapy.

Johnson wears the tiny device instead of giving herself two to six shots a day. The pump weighs only three and a half ounces and is the size of a pager. It supplies her with insulin 24 hours a day, seven days a week, more closely simulating a normal pancreas as compared to intermittent shots. She wore the pump during all phases of the pageant except the swimsuit competition, when she used the "Quick Release" feature to leave the pump in her dressing room. With the Quick Release, a pump user can disconnect temporarily for things like swimming, showers, changing clothes, etc.

Johnson also showed the pump during the interview section of the pageant as a means of promoting awareness of diabetes. She plans to be a national spokesperson for improved awareness and treatment of diabetes throughout her reign.

Johnson was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 19. For four years, she had to eat rigid meals at the same time each day, take insulin injections and carefully monitor each meal so that it balanced with the amount of insulin she had already taken with a shot.

Two years ago Johnson read about a study showing that insulin pump therapy dramatically reduces complications of diabetes, which can include blindness, amputation, kidney failure and death. She decided she had to have an insulin pump. It has been fourteen months since Johnson started using a MiniMed insulin pump and she now enjoys the more flexible lifestyle that pump therpay helps diabetes patients achieve, eating whatever she wants, whenever she wants, knowing that with her pump she can give herself as much or as little insulin as she needs -- and with regular monitoring her blood sugar remains under tight control.

"My doctor didn't know much about them, but after a little research I knew it was the best thing for me," she said, "and I love it. It changed my life!"

"This is a wonderful thing for diabetes and insulin pump therapy," said Al Mann, chairman and founder of MiniMed. "She's a great person to bring awareness of this disease to the public -- as well as a great example of how to take care of yourself with the best therapy available." Mann continued, "It also sends a strong message to young people of the world that having diabetes need not hold you back from anything you set your mind to."

MiniMed Inc. designs, develops, manufactures and markets advanced infusion systems primarily for the intensive management of diabetes. The Company's products include external pumps and related disposables, as well as an implantable insulin pump, which is currently approved for distribution in the European Community and has not yet been cleared for marketing in the U.S. The Company also distributes other diabetes supplies and pharmaceutical products. The Company has submitted an application for marketing clearance for a system designed to continuously monitor glucose levels, is preparing to introduce other glucose monitoring products, and is developing new infusion systems to deliver compounds designed to treat a variety of medical conditions.

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MiniMed Inc.
12744 San Fernando Road
Sylmar, CA 91342
Contact: Ray Hoese, Communications
800-933-3322, Ext. 24444
(818) 342-5958, Ext. 2444

Posted 27 September 1998

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Last Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 19:28:21
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