Rocking the New Medical Alert Jewelry

People with diabetes share how they stay stylish and safe with the newest medical IDs!

Jennifer Leonard
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It’s important to have a medical alert device in case of a diabetes emergency. But if you’re still sporting a boring, clunky bracelet or necklace, here’s good news: The medical alert market has been revolutionized and now boasts everything from super-stylish jewelry designs—including tons of great looks for men—to tattoos people create themselves! Discover how you can safeguard your health and show off your personality.    

“My necklace goes with any outfit.”
Competitive cyclist Mandy Marquardt of Trexlertown, PA, discovered she had type 1 diabetes when she was just 16 years old. “I was shocked and overwhelmed when I heard the diagnosis,” says Mandy. “I had to learn how to train for races and carefully monitor what foods I ate as well as my blood sugar levels.”

As soon as they learned their daughter had the disease, Mandy’s parents urged her to wear some type of medical alert jewelry—but she refused. “Everything was clunky, and I couldn’t wear something like that when racing,” Mandy explains. “I also hated how the jewelry seemed to brand me and be a constant reminder of my diabetes.”

It wasn’t until she was 22 that Mandy went online and discovered the chic new options. “It’s so nice that medical jewelry is finally stylish—I like coordinating it with my outfits and racing gear!” Her favorite? “I am never without my silver necklace that has a dog tag on it. It’s a nice piece that helps me express my sporty style and stay safe!”

 “I got a ‘T2 DIABETES’ tattoo!”
“One morning, my wife told me I had been complaining and fussing at her and talking off the wall. I didn’t remember any of it—just that I had woken up with very low blood sugar,” recalls Travis Grubbs.

“I became worried that if I ever did go that low again in public, someone might think I was drunk and call the police!”

Travis thought about wearing a medical alert bracelet, but he didn’t like wearing anything around his wrist. For a while he hung a tag from his pants belt loop, but that didn’t work out.

“I’m a building inspector, in and out of tight spaces, and one day it came off.” That got him thinking about a lifelong wish...

“I’d always kidded that I wanted a tattoo, so I finally got one four years ago, at age 47. It reads T2 DIABETES. It’s on my left forearm, where it can be seen easily. It also reminds me to take care of myself. When a salesperson recently tried to tempt me with free candy, I just pointed to the tattoo!”

“I never leave home without my bracelet.”
Whenever Matthew Tutelman of Bryn Mawr, PA, catches sight of his black and red bracelet, he breathes a sigh of relief. “For the longest time, I refused to wear any medical ID,” says Matthew. “I didn’t want it known that I had a medical condition, and thought others might think negatively of me.”

It wasn’t until he had a health scare when he was at home with his parents that he decided he needed to wear a piece of medical alert jewelry. “I came downstairs for breakfast, and suddenly woke up with EMTs asking me questions,” explains Matthew. “My blood sugar had dropped so low that I was unconscious for 5 to 10 minutes.” Luckily, his family was there to help that time, but he realized it could happen again anywhere.

The experience led Matthew to look for options online. That’s how he hit on Hope Paige jewelry—and the nylon style that suits his sporty lifestyle. “It’s waterproof with a tight buckle closure, which keeps it secure when I’m playing golf and basketball. Now I feel like I have control over diabetes instead of letting diabetes control me!” 


March 2014