Baxter woman named semifinalist for national 'Best of You' contest | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Baxter woman named semifinalist for national 'Best of You' contest

Posted: February 7, 2012 - 6:25pm

A 26-year-old Baxter woman is among 10 women nationwide competing for the Best of You award.

Quinn Nystrom was nominated for the Best of You award for her commitment to improve the lives of 25 million Americans living with diabetes. The national contest is sponsored by Sally Hansen and Glamour magazine, and honors the most inspirational women from coast to coast. How the contest works is people go online to vote for the contestant they chose at http://www.glamalert.com/sally2012/ that will determine the winner of the award, which includes a substantial donation for the winner’s charity, diabetes advocacy in Nystrom’s case. Voting closes Feb. 13.

Nystrom was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age l3 and is nationally recognized for her work as a diabetes advocate. Nystrom has shared her struggle of living with diabetes at camps, convention, halls, Congress and the White House. Her message is simple: We must find a cure for diabetes and provide support and care with for the millions affected with the disease.

She continues to lobby for increased diabetes funding with lawmakers and fights to stop diabetes discrimination in schools and the workplace. Nystrom serves on the executive board of the American Diabetes Association in Minnesota and has been a top fundraiser for the organization’s “Tour de Cure” and “Walk for Diabetes” for the past l2 years. Her company, Qspeak, provides opportunities to advocate, consult and raise funds for diabetes. Nystrom’s non-profit foundation, “dateline diabetes” offers hope, support and mentors for young people recently diagnosed with diabetes.

While in high school, Nystrom was selected as the American Diabetes Association’s National Youth Advocate and spent a year speaking across the country. Along the way, she met heroes including Olympic gold medalist Gary Hall Jr. and Miss American Nicole Johnson, both living their dream despite diabetes. Quinn also became a hero to young people struggling with diabetes and other chronic diseases.

She has been the keynote speaker for a Fortune-500 company in New York City, educated health care providers at a Health and Human Services Conference and in July was honored to throw out the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins game at Target Field in recognition of her work in raising diabetes awareness. Her first book, “If I kiss you, will I get diabetes?” is scheduled for release in September.