Miss Ireland 2017 Lauren McDonagh. Photo Source: Independent.ie. http://cdn-01.independent.ie/incoming/article36160887.ece/50b4e/AUTOCROP/w620/VIPIrelandImage184198.jpg
They say that the loudest voice comes from action. Most youth are currently fighting for or against something. It is truly common for people at present to let themselves be heard and spread awareness of the advocacies they champion. One would notice via television newscasts, newspapers, and articles online about how people walk their talk by volunteering in charity events, doing hospital visits, and organizing “event-for-a-cause” projects. Although the quantity of people affects how loud the advocacies can be heard, it is also important for the few yet influential people to speak as well.
Beauty pageants are some of the things that most people look forward. These contestants represent their countries to the entire world.Moreover, aside from the physical appearance, it is vital to bring something and share it with the whole world, most specifically an advocacy.
A Beauty Queen’s Advocacy Towards Muscular Dystrophy Awareness
Newly crowned Miss Ireland Lauren McDonagh, whose brother Darren died at a younger age due to muscular dystrophy, is an important model for everyone, not only to the aspiring beauty queens in the near future. Because of her experience, the beauty queen wants to champion the advocacy of spreading awareness of muscular dystrophy and of critical illnesses that affect children.
Muscular dystrophy is a disease that leads to loss of muscle mass. This prevents a person from walking and other activities that require muscle coordination and use. Imagine such illness affecting children even starting during their younger years. This does not only affect the physical conditions of a child, but the emotional and psychological impact as well. With such sad reality, it is understandable and heart-warming for Lauren McDonagh to actually be an ambassador for such disease.
With this in mind, it is best for the rest of the world to also support Miss Ireland’s journey not only in Miss World together with other contestants, but also in her advocacy in spreading awareness about muscular dystrophy. There are certain institutions which organized local, national, and international projects and initiatives for muscular dystrophy including the following:
- Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy – Also known as PPMD, this is the largest and most comprehensive non-profit organization in the United States, which aims to find a treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Since 1994, people in this organization have been looking for investments and ways to provide cure to the said disease. With this in mind, it would be better for others to actually partake in such movement. It is not easy for an institution, let alone a non-profit organization, to accumulate monetary needs in order to concretize their advocacy.
- Oregon Health and Science University’s Human Genetics Initiative – Noting that muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease, universities around the world, including Oregon Health and Science University or OHSU, strive to initiate studies about genetic diseases in general. It is imperative that continuous studies be done about the disease, since, as of the moment, there is no actual cure for muscular dystrophy. The fact that doctors and scientists are looking for ways to look for a solution actually gives hope for everyone, especially those who are suffering because of such illnesses. It also brings faith to humanity as the human race continues to battle for survival not only of their individual selves but also of the entire population. It is hoped that the findings of the experts will bring progress and development to bring a cure for muscular dystrophy.
- Muscular Dystrophy UK – This is an organized charity for people with muscle-wasting conditions in the United Kingdom. Since 1959, people volunteering for this have been providing support to the patients and the families that are affected with a rare muscle-wasting conditions, particularly muscular dystrophy. This is a really good and motivating project for the country, and how much more if such movement will be replicated by rest. Although such diseases may be rare, these still exist. These are something that should not be turned down or ignored. It might be rare at present, but nothing is known yet for the future. There might be a time where this “rare” genetic disorder will become something common. Also, if something is not done at present, then it will be difficult in the long run.
Beauty Queens and Their Advocacies
This is a wake-up call for the rest of the world, and Miss Ireland Lauren McDonagh might be the starting spark in creating a flame. Indeed, Lauren is not the only beauty queen who advocates such diseases.
Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa advocates for mental health. Verzosa herself had overcome depression, and with such experience, she decided to make this more known. A lot of people currently are experiencing depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues, and these scenarios are not given importance by most countries.
Aside from Verzosa, Miss Frostburg Victoria Graham is also an advocate of “invisible illnesses” in which she had experienced one of them. She has an Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which is a rare genetic disorder that affects collagen production in her body. Because of this, she underwent a lot of surgeries that left a 25-inch scar on her back.
Taking note of how these beauty queens, and people, in general, choose their advocacies, it is then significant for people to fight for the battles they know how to play. Advocating for something that one does not have any idea about is just for pure show. Advocating is more than just showing a pretty face and make publicity for one’s advocacy. Advocating is more than just the million people carrying huge placards to be heard. Advocating is more than just building institutions and organizing movements to be heard more.
Advocating is Serving
In order to support the entire human population, serving is more than the actions. Service is an action done with the heart. One does not simply volunteer for something, especially as critical as muscular dystrophy awareness. One does not simply go to the hospital to visit and entertain the patients. One does not simply raise money and just immediately give to those who are in need without thinking of the rationale and importance of the movement.
If one holds an advocacy, especially to our beauty pageant contestants and the rest of the world, it should come from the heart. It is understandable as to why and how young beauty queens Lauren McDonagh, Kylie Verzosa, and Victoria Graham were able to come up with their respective advocacies. These came from experiences and the thought that “hey, I don’t want this to happen to other people.” If one has the ability to give assistance to those who are in need, especially people who have such rare or genetic diseases, it is best for everyone that people should serve. These people who live what they call “normal” lives have the upper hand and the advantage of actually giving service. It is not simply because they have to, it is because they can.