CALDWELL, Texas (KBTX) – The last three and a half years of Whitney Lavender are described by the Caldwell woman as a whirlwind.
Lavender says she came down the stairs and fell, which led to her first diagnoses of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is a rare disease that causes severe nerve pain. In recent years, lavender has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, multiple brain damage, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
The pain from CRPS was so great in his right leg that Lavender started relying on a wheelchair. It became almost a full-time thing after having her leg amputated in an effort to help ease the severe pain she was still in.
Lavender says she is still in immense pain and is undergoing several surgeries to correct her amputation.
Amidst pain and fear, Lavender has been a strong advocate for attention to rare diseases like his. Part of that plea was to take what she calls a leap of faith and apply to become Mrs. Wheelchair Texas USA.
“It’s not over yet, but hopefully soon things will calm down a bit,” Lavender said. “So doing something like that is like a ray of hope in the midst of all the yuck our family has been through over the past three and a half years.
Lavender received the call in January 2021 to let her know she was crowned.
“It was shocking when I learned that I had been chosen as Mrs. Wheelchair Texas USA because I really didn’t think I would,” Lavender said.
She is preparing by trying on competition dresses and planning to travel to Ohio in July for the competition. But Lavender says this pageant is more than just a beauty pageant.
“Ms. Wheelchair USA is a really neat organization,” Lavender said. “They promote glamor for women with disabilities. There are over 5,000 different contests each year, and there are only two intended. women with disabilities. ”
Her platform is one that means a lot to her, especially since she has gone through so many unexpected physical changes over the past few years.
“My platform is different is beautiful, rare is strong, your voice is powerful and a tool for change,” Lavender said. “I think it kind of encompasses everything I’ve been through and all the growth to find the beauty in myself for the first time in my life through all of this madness. For example, who would have ever thought that it would allow me to look in the mirror and say, ‘you are beautiful and you are strong.’ “
As she travels to Ohio, the 10-day competition will feature charts explaining the candidates in more detail, several interviews and the two-day competition on July 16 and 17.
She says she hopes to represent her hometown state well, inspire young girls and women around the world, and bring the crown home.
“It’s so amazing to have the opportunity to represent Texas, to represent the Brazos Valley region and to represent not only people with disabilities in the state, but everyone,” Lavender said.
Candidates must support themselves to attend the competition. To help Lavender in this you can click on this link here.
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