Young Osoyoos woman using Miss Canada Petite pageant to represent those with rare diseases

By on August 15, 2017

Chelsea Cameron-Horner is in Toronto this week competing in the Miss Canada Petite Pageant. (Richard McGuire photo)

When Chelsea Cameron-Horner competes in the Miss Canada Petite pageant this week in Toronto, she’ll be representing Osoyoos and doing something memorable for Canada 150.

But Cameron-Horner, 25, has another goal – she wants to represent those with rare diseases and bring attention to them.

“That’s something I’m really passionate about because I personally have a rare connective tissue disorder,” says Cameron-Horner, who describes her condition as a genetic disease related to Marfan syndrome.

The disease affects joints and organs such as the eyes and the heart. Cameron-Horner is under the care of a clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

This is by no means Cameron-Horner’s first pageant, though it’s her first national one.

She was crowned as an Osoyoos Princess in 2008 under the Osoyoos Royalty Program, and when no new contestants came forward the following year, she reigned for a second term.

Then in 2015, she competed to become a B.C. Ambassador. Although she finished in the top three for knowledge and did very well with fundraising, she didn’t receive a crown.

Cameron-Horner also loves theatre and she played the role of Sister Amnesia in the 2014 SOAP production of Nunset Boulevard.

She’s actively involved in South Okanagan Toastmasters and has been vice president of public relations for the public speaking group for the past three years.

Especially during her quest to become B.C. Ambassador, Cameron-Horner participated in numerous public events – as many as 100 Osoyoos events in a six-month period.

“I enjoy the community and being involved as an active member,” she said.

She hopes in the future to become involved in life coaching, motivating people to achieve their goals and improve their lives.

The Miss Canada Petite pageant is organized by Miss Canada Globe Productions. That organization aims to promote women’s inner beauty and confidence, regardless of their height, size or creed.

Cameron-Horner was heading to Toronto on Tuesday for an orientation on Thursday, followed by the first public appearances on Saturday.

There will be interviews with judges and a talent portion, as well as a swimsuit event.

“It’s not necessarily how beautiful you look in a swimsuit,” said Cameron-Horner. “They’re looking for healthy, confident women, so you don’t have to look absolutely stunning like a model. You just have to rock what you’re wearing.”

There’s also a “national costume” portion where Cameron-Horner intends to wear some Olympic clothing was well as an Osoyoos 2017 Bead Trail bracelet and Osoyoos scarf.

She wants to use the event, however, to bring attention to rare diseases, which she said affect 350 million people worldwide.

“If you put everybody with a rare disease into one country, it would be the third largest country,” she said. Only China and India have more than 350 million people.

There are at least 7,000 rare diseases, Cameron-Horner said, and close to half of these don’t have an organization to represent them.

“I want to represent both my own rare condition and the disease community as a whole,” said Cameron-Horner.

Rare Disease Day falls on the last day of February every year and Cameron-Horner says she’ll likely do some fundraisers for the next one.

Cameron-Horner says people can support her campaign by going to her Facebook page and following the links:


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