Donate HERE For My Half Marathon

March 19, 2016 will mark 2 years of recovery and weight gain from my illness. While each day of my recovery has been anything but easy, it has been a blessing. The past 2 years I have fell in love with fitness and health and worked extremely hard to put on muscle and healthy weight.

6 months ago I finally put on enough weight to start doing cardio and running. To celebrate 2 years recovery and my new gained fitness and health, I will be running my first half marathon alongside my dad. All proceeds will benefit Children’s Miracle Network, the foundation that helped save my life.

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and am asking for your help to donate to the foundation that saved my life. There are many other kids fighting for their life, just like I fought for mine, and without Children’s Miracle Network of Rady Children’s Hospitals nationwide, many of us would not be here today. Please consider supporting me on this next step of my journey.

DONATE HERE: https://www.gofundme.com/8pa32kvw

 

From Illness to Pageantry

As soon as I recovered from my illness, I had to put on weight. I weighed 95 pounds and my bones were protruding from my chest and I was extremely insecure about my body. I decided to start training with a personal trainer to put healthy weight and muscle on my body. I wanted to work with someone who understood what I had been through and could work individually with my needs.

At the same time of my recovery, a teacher from school suggested that I get into pageantry since I have a passion for helping others and enjoy public speaking. I knew I wanted to do something with my story and pageantry gave me the perfect avenue to use it to my advantage.

I competed in my first pageant 2 months after my recovery and made top 20 for the state and won Miss Photogenic, earning a $1,000 scholarship. I then continued to compete in Miss Greater San Diego Teen USA where I placed 1st runner-up, to my now best friend, Caitlin. A month later I was crowned the inaugural Miss Newport Coast Teen USA 2015 and advanced on to compete for Miss California Teen USA, placing in the top 20. I then competed in Miss Texas Teen USA 2016, and will be competing for Miss Los Angeles County Teen International at the end of January.

My platform I promote through pageantry is helping children suffering from life-threatening illnesses and being an advocate for health, well-being and never giving up. More specifically, I support Children’s Miracle Network for the Rady Children’s Hospitals around the nation. My goals are to share my story to spread positivity and hope and raise money to enable the hospital to continue providing the best care possible. I also enjoy visiting the patients and giving the kids super hero capes, so that they know they are heroes and capable of fighting any battle. Lastly, my ultimate goal for this year is to run my first half marathon in Dallas on March 19th, benefiting Children’s Miracle Network. March 19th will mark my own 2 year recovery from my illness and I hope to set an example for others, demonstrating the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, I would love to run more half marathons around the country, all benefiting Children’s Miracle Network.

My Story

In October of 2012, I was admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego for severe headaches. When I was being discharged, I started to have leg tremors and the doctors attributed it to atrophy from laying in the hospital bed. After being discharged, my leg tremors worsened and I could hardly walk 10 feet by myself or before I got winded. I was consistantly in and out of the hospital for 6 months and I was in a wheelchair for most of my sophomore year of high school. While I was unable to walk I underwent every single medical test possible to find out what was wrong with me, but no doctor could find an answer. While I was trying to regain my ability to walk, I started having trouble digesting food. As I began walking again, I started throwing up everything I ate or drank, including water. Doctors ran every test possible, but could not find an answer as to why I was rapidly losing weight and adapting an intolerance to food and water. Right before thanksgiving of 2013, I was hopsitalized for fluids and was told I would be discharged before thanksgiving and be celebrating with my family. I had lost 4 pounds in 3 days and there was no hope of being discharged anytime soon. I got a NJ nasal feeding tube implanted, that ran from my small intestine up through my nose and hooked up to a tube to manually feed me for survival. I had the tube for about 5 months, and while I was on the tube, I continuously lost weight and my liver and heart were beginning to fail. February of 2014, I was told I would “most likely never recover” and I was “a very rare case, one of the only they had ever seen”. I was scheduled to get a permanent feeding tube surgically implanted into my stomach. I would be 16 years old and never enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich again, I couldn’t buy normal clothes or a beautiful prom dress, I would have to have a hole cut through my clothes to make my tube and pump easily accessible. My surgery was scheduled for February 14, 2014, Valentine’s Day. The day before surgery, my gastro doctor, Dr. Cherry, called my mom and said she had called numerous specialists around the US to discuss my results and there was one experimental treatment they could try to help me recover. My surgery was canceled and I endured 2 weeks of inpatient treatment that had never been practiced on any one with my case at the Rady Children’s in San Diego. I worked with numerous specialists during that week, attended sessions in the eating disorder wing to help conquer my fear of eating food, with the fear that I wouldn’t be able to keep food down, practiced biofeedback and slowly worked my way from a cup of water to a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. Although it took me 2 hours to eat a sandwhich by the end of my 2nd week of treatment, I was able to eat again. Rady Children’s helped give me my life back and now I am able to attend Texas Christian University to pursue a nursing degree. I am able to compete in beauty pageants and have held the title of Miss Newport Coast Teen USA. Rady Children’s has supported me endessly and made me a part of their family. Please join me in helping to support the sick children that are fighting for their lives, as I speak for surviviors and those who have passed, Rady Children’s has provided us with phenomenal medical care and love throughout our battles.