Diabetes Success Story: Musician Crystal Bowersox

Diabetes Success Story: Musician Crystal Bowersox

Diabetes Success Story: CRYSTAL BOWERSOX

When Crystal Bowersox was taken to the hospital in the second grade, she had no idea it would change her life. To her, it was a fun trip to some place new. To her family, it was a devastating diagnosis for their 6-year-old girl – type 1 diabetes.

Not really understanding what that would mean for her future, Crystal quickly realized she stood out, but for reasons a little girl her age couldn’t fully grasp. All she knew growing up in northwest Ohio was that there wasn’t anyone else at school who had diabetes. And she felt alone.

“I don’t think that I was fully aware of what having diabetes meant for me back then.  I just wanted to be a kid and eat ice cream.”

At age 10, Crystal started to stand out for another reason: her music.

“I was like a horse with blinders on. There was only music. If I couldn’t play, it was like not having air to breathe.”

Playing and performing on stage gave Crystal a sense of pride and accomplishment, but it wasn’t until she attended her first diabetes camp that she felt a sense of belonging. And at a critical juncture in her life as a pre-teen, camp was a chance to meet others exactly like her, and make friends for a lifetime.

“Going to camp was everything to me. It touched my life in ways that are still with me today, and I know for sure that my first steps toward managing my diabetes on my own were taken at camp. There, I was just like everyone else.”

Now, the one-time American Idol® star, and current Nashville recording artist, has teamed up with Lilly Diabetes and the Lilly Camp Care Package program. In addition to touring the country performing for her fans, she will attend diabetes summer camps and meet with hundreds of children with diabetes across the country.

“I’m just looking forward to having fun and showing these kids that they can pursue their goals and dreams, and that diabetes doesn’t have to stand in their way.”