You might think Miss America contestants' biggest worries might involve what bathing suit they're going to wear and what talent they're going to showcase at the annual beauty pageant. While she is likely thinking about those things, the 24-year-old beauty queen representing Washington, D.C., Allyn Rose, has even bigger fish to fry -- being that she just recently made the difficult decision to have a double mastectomy.
Rose has a chromosomal disease that raises her risk of breast cancer -- one that her mother, who died from breast cancer when Rose was just 16, also had, the contestant recently said. And as a result, she's decided that it only makes sense for her to become a breast cancer previvor (like Sharon Osbourne who recently spoke out about her double mastectomy).
It manifests in male children, but there have been studies that women who are the carriers of it have almost a 75 percent likely chance of contracting breast cancer. It's a very strange change in our genetic code. Almost all of the women in my family have passed away from it.
So, so sad ... But at the same time, it's amazingly brave that Rose is facing the facts of her personal health situation and doing what she can now to stave off the disease. The game plan: If she wins the competition, Rose plans to undergo surgery after her duties are complete in January 2014. If she does not win, she will have the procedure done after her local duties are complete next June. Either way, it'll be a tough road. She acknowledge that:
The idea that I could wake up one day and not have the same body that I did the day before is very scary. But I also realize my mom was diagnosed at 27. That's three years away from me. I'm not going to let my fear of losing this part of my femininity stop me from living.
Holy wow. Good for her! Sounds like nothing's going to stand in her way from making the best of the situation. Here's hoping her bravery and candor give her a leg up in January.
How incredibly inspiring is she? Will you be rooting for her to win the title of Miss America?
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