Monday, May 23, 2011

April 18- April 31

Hello friends!

The middle of April seemed to calm down quite a bit for me. Thank you all for your prayers and support during this time, because at this point I had been really beaten down by the effects of a new medical condition. I was still not permitted to exercise or drive, and after being so independent, for so long- I felt very discouraged. But your love and prayers have helped me to push through and continue making the most of every single day I am blessed with as your Miss Delaware.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (April 18-20) were mostly personal days but I did have a phone conference with the National Alopecia Areata Foundation and also with my Character Counts advisor. Thursday I visited Fredrick Douglas Elementary School in Seaford to give a Character Counts presentation on "Respect". Every moment I spend in an elementary school brightens my day. Kids truly do say the darndest things, but they are also so capable of absorbing all things around them- and therefore we are given an opportunity to truly shape them and make a difference. This presentation was not intended to be about Alopecia at all, but several of the students had heard about me and my story. And because they are at "that age", they wanted to ask about it. I was so thankful they did, and I was able to explain Alopecia Areata to them, and share my story of bullying and accepting others.

I was looking forward to Saturday all week long because that evening I attended my best friend, and 1st Runner Up to Miss Delaware 2008, Julia Fuller Donahue's Woman of the Year Fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Julia held a spectacular event that evening in her mother's honor at the Washington Street Alehouse and made us all so proud. I know Debbie (Julia's mother, who lost her battle with blood cancer a few years ago) was looking down on her with a huge smile on her face and bragging about her daughter up in heaven.

I celebrated Easter the next day with my family (the Martell's and the Gillis') as we attended Kevin's grandfather's final Easter sermon. After the service we all enjoyed brunch together and a blissful day off! Monday and Tuesday I had another appointment with the cardiologist, and quite the to-do list! This was the time when it first set in to me that I will be crowning a new Miss Delaware in just a few weeks. Making plans for the next phase of my life, allowed all of that to become a reality. But then Wednesday rolled around and brought my third test at the cardiologist! We had been praying for answers for two months, and finally- they came! I left the appointment that day feeling overjoyed that we finally had a diagnosis and a treatment plan! Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes during this time. It was certainly not ideal timing, but with all of your love and support, we were able to get through!

That next morning (Thursday, April 28) I was up bright and early to drive myself (a joyous occasion!) to Lincoln to be interviewed by longtime family friend and supporter, Denise Harper, on "The Bridge". The interview went swimingly and viewers were even given the chance to call in and ask me some questions! I cherish every opportunity I am given to talk about my faith in the Lord and the blessings he has bestowed upon my family and I. And after the news from the day before, I had many things to thank Him for! Thank you to "The Bridge" for having me on air!

Saturday (April 30) was one of my favorite days that month. Early that morning, my mother and I drove to Berlin, MD- which I must say, is the cutest little town in the whole world! Oh My Hair Salon was hosting a cutathon for Locks of Love and had invited me to be a part of the event! I had the best time, and the ladies of the salon were so kind and welcoming and were donating their time and offering free hair cuts for anyone who wanted to donate their hair! Men and woman alike came to donate their hair and one woman and one young girl really stood out to me. Everyone there looked beautiful with their new "dus" :)

That afternoon, I was in my hometown again for Milford's Annual Bug and Bud Festival, which is one of my favorite festivals throughout the year! The weather was beautiful and I felt so loved hearing peoples accounts of where they were the night of the Miss America pageant this year. Plus, being a Miss Delaware means you automatically love everything lady bug, so I had to purchase something bug-ish while I was there!

Thank you all for continuing to support me on my journey as your Miss Delaware. As I look back, I realize how special each of these moments are and I feel so blessed to have had such a full and fulfilling year. I hope that I have lived up to my promise of never letting a single moment go to waste.

Stay tuned for my final six weeks as Miss Delaware until we crown the 70th Miss Delaware on June 11th at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino!

God bless you all.

Love,

Kayla

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