Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fashion Over Function?

Ever since having my transplant and developing diabetes, various people have been encouraging me to wear some sort of medical alert device. I agree that would be prudent, but I’m 29-years-old. I don’t want to rock some weird old lady bracelet all the time. I don’t want to be automatically stigmatized as “sick” upon meeting new people. The medical alert jewelry industry has developed quite a bit, some of the options are relatively attractive, but they all prominently display the medic alert symbol. I just can’t get on board with that. I almost always prioritize function over fashion, but I just can't do it here.

So I tried writing the critical information on the inside of my green “Donate Life” bracelet that I wear every day, but even the permanent marker I used did not stay on for long. Instead it left my wrist appearing to have a Sanskrit tattoo or something equally bizarre.

It occurred to me that I virtually always have one of two things with me – my keys and my work id tag. So today I researched personalized key chains and id tags to attach to both things. I found a solution in Road ID. The company was founded to provide runners with critical personal information to be used in case of an accident and now sells a variety of identifiers. I chose one I could affix to my key chain and to my work id. It features the date of my transplant, the fact that I am diabetic and emergency contact information.

I would encourage all of you runners, hikers, cyclists, diabetics, transplant recipients, asthmatics, etc. to check out The story of how the company got started is pretty compelling.


  1. Hey Andrea!

    I actually recently learned about a bracelet that connects with a USB port and when plugged into any computer, it brings up medical history as well as insurance information. I thought it was a neat idea. Unfortunately it was the patent of the grandfather of one of my patients so I don't think it is out on the market yet :(

  2. Andrea, My wife got me a very stylish medical alert necklace at Things Remembered a few years back and had my name, transplant and date engraved on the back. There are options that can be worn discretely.

  3. Are tattoos out of the question?