As a national finalist in the Miss Teen Canada-World Pageant, it’s my job to choose a platform to support. Making your title stand for something is what makes your crown really sparkle:

“Social activism has been a very positive trend in pageantry in recent years. Taking a stand serves to identify you with a positive purpose and distinguishes you from the unfortunate public image of titleholders as merely pretty ornaments. The choice of a platform issue should be of personal significant.”- National Finalists Booklet

I chose the Heart and Stroke Foundation as my platform because it is a charity that I hold very close to my heart. Last October, I lost my dad to a stroke. I decided that now was the perfect time to blog about my passion for the Heart and Stroke Foundation for two reasons:

First because June is Heart and Stroke month. There are lots of events going on that you can volunteer at and participate in.

The second reason is because Father’s Day is coming up on June 17th. This will be the first one without my dad. I remember when I found out he had had a stroke. At first I wasn’t very worried because I didn’t think people died from strokes unless they were elderly. My ignorance was bliss only for a short time because dad kept getting worse.

My Daddy

After only two days, he could no longer speak. The doctors said they could save him but half of his brain had already shut down. This meant he would have to live in a facility for the rest of his life. He couldn’t eat, or speak, or walk, or go home ever again. My family decided to let nature take it’s course and not intervene. The doctors told us that he only had a few days left. Dad was in a coma by this point, but a single tear rolled down his cheek when he heard his days were numbered. There is no way to tell whether or not a person in a coma can hear but my family and I never left dad’s side until the very end. The stroke happen on a thursday morning and dad passed away the following wednesday.

It’s hard for me with Father’s Day coming up but I’ve decided not to let this get me down, and to instead turn my grief into inspiration. On June 16th, the Comox Valley is hosting the annul bike ride for the Heart and Stroke Foundation:

The Heart and Stroke Big Bike is a FUN and inspiring team building ride on a one-of-a-kind bike built for 30 that raises funds towards life saving research for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The 30 person bike!

If you would like to create or join a team register today and start collecting donations from friends and family.

Even though I’ve been through some hard times, I don’t have any regrets. “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” (Friedrich Nietzsche) Experience is what shapes us, and our outlook on life. My experiences have made me a stronger person. Our trials give us the gift of understanding. What makes my crown sparkle is my understanding, and my compassion. My title isn’t about being the prettiest, or the best dressed. That’s not what the Miss Teen Canada-Word Pageant is about. My title, Miss Teen Comox Valley-World 2012, stands for Compassion, Strength, and Understanding. This is what makes my crown sparkle.

~ Somer



Written by: Somer McNeil Tagged with:, ,

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