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It has been rags to riches for singer Elliott Yamin.

He did not want to take multiple insulin injections and finger sticks daily for blood glucose readings.“I was very angry,” he says of the time following his diagnosis. '”The reaction to his diagnosis, along with normal teenage defiance, spelled out disaster for his diabetes control.“I got really rebellious.I didn’t want to take my insulin and I didn’t want to believe I actually had diabetes,” he says. I thought the future was grim and I wouldn’t be able to do the things I always wanted to do.”It wasn’t long before he realized he needed to take control of his condition in order to feel good and have energy.“I learned very abruptly when I was diagnosed that I had to get a grip on my diabetes or I wouldn’t live very long,” says Yamin, who made several trips to the emergency room before taking better control of his diabetes.“We went to the emergency room and I ended up spending four days in the hospital.”The news did not sit well with Yamin.Like most teenagers he enjoyed hanging out with his friends, cruising in cars, dating girls and living a normal life. I kept wondering, ‘how did I go from being an average kid without too many worries or concerns to having this incurable lifelong disease?While working as a pharmacy clerk, he left his job to audition for American Idol on the advice of his friends, but he had little idea of where he was really heading.

Diagnosed With Diabetes Yamin was not a stranger to facing great challenges.When you hear him, you know immediately that few guys in any musical genre sing with this kind of authenticity. Watching Yamin grow from nobody to somebody, while carrying his diabetes proudly, has inspired diabetics everywhere.In a true Cinderella story, Yamin went from being a pharmacy clerk in early 2006 to international singing sensation in a matter of months.I was a little apprehensive about taking my shirt off around girls at first,” he says.“It’s awkward looking to have a third nipple on your stomach – the infusion set for my pump – and it’s hard for people to get their minds around that it’s something I’m always going to have.“Everybody has supported it.Yamin faced a huge challenge in wooing the judges to pick him to from among the tens of thousands of other contestants who turned out to audition for American Idol.