American Idol contestant looks to use fame to raise funds for type 1 diabetes research

Watching her perform under the bright lights of American Idol, it may have been easy to forget that Crystal Bowersox has type 1 diabetes, a severe condition that could have held her back and prevented her from reaching such heights.

However, despite the condition, the singer placed second in a recent season of the hit reality show. Now, the fame she attained through her time in the spotlight is allowing her to do something she really cares about - speak out on behalf of type 1 diabetes advocacy.

Bowersox is currently gearing up to perform at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on September 10. The appearance is part of Rev it up for Juvenile Diabetes Festival, which will feature performances by several other top acts. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go directly to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Bowersox said through a news release that advocacy is now something that is very important to her and that she hopes young people with the condition can learn from her experiences.

“I wish, as a teenager when you think you are invincible, I had done a better job of managing my diabetes and taking care of myself,” she said. “I didn't understand the long-term consequences, and my advice to kids is to manage your diabetes today - and every day - so that you can live your dreams, put your life first, and live a long, long time."

During the 2010 competition, she was actually sent to the hospital due to complications stemming from the condition. This put her disease into the public light and became her first moment in the role of type 1 diabetes advocate.

Now, she is looking to make this role a permanent one, and in the process raise valuable funds for research aimed at helping people with type 1 diabetes live healthier lives and possible even finding a cure for the condition.

It may seem like a big leap to go from the bright lights of American Idol to diabetes advocacy, but it is a step Bowersox is eagerly making.