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Good evening everyone!
I hope everyone is having a fantastic week, I know I am! This week has been filled with fun outings, creative rehearsals and meeting new friends! For my third blog assignment, I am to write about today’s amazing experience at the new Richtree Taco Truck! Although I was not able to sample the food because of my celiac disease, I was grateful at how understanding and accommodating the staff was as they provided me with a delicious salad at another restaurant in the Richtree Markets! The Taco Truck was a cute vintage van located in the Eaton Centre close to the entrance on the main floor offering easy accessibility for the public. When I arrived at the Eaton Centre with all the pageant contestants, we all felt like royalty because of all the attention we attracted. The Eaton Centre is a huge mall in downtown Toronto, and shoppers were stopping to take pictures and videos of us walking with our sashes and tiaras on. My day 5 with Miss Teenage Canada was amazing and I’d like to say “thank you” to MTC for another fantastic day and the staff at the Richtree Market Restaurants for providing all of us girls with delicious meals along with cute glass bottles of pop!
Wishing you all a good nights sleep and don’t forget to vote for me for the People’s Choice Award! Winning this award will not only be amazing, but it will also fast track me into the top 20! www.missteenagecanada.com/vip-signup
Well tomorrow are the preliminaries, so wish me luck!
Goodnight and thank you again for supporting me along this amazing journey!
I met Kaelan when he was 5 years old. He and my younger brother Grant, started their hockey careers together and later became school mates.
Kaelan is the youngest of three boys – his brothers are Taylor and Alex – having just turned 10 at the end of the year. Kaelan is from a huge Hockey family, with both older brothers playing AAA hockey and then Junior A hockey.
Kaelan was diagnosed June 2014 with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a debilitating, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. Only about one in 50,000 people in the United States have FA. There is currently no cure and no treatment, only symptom management.
What causes Friedreich’s Ataxia? FA is an inherited or single gene disorder. Mutations or DNA changes in the FXN gene cause FA.
FA in inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that individuals with FA have two mutated or abnormal copies of the FXN gene, this means both biological parents must be a carrier of the disease for a child to be affected. It is estimated that 1 in 100 people are carriers, and carriers do not exhibit symptoms of FA. Each such carrier parent has one mutated gene (allele) and one normal gene (allele) in the FXN gene. Because each child gets one of the mother’s genes and one of the father’s genes in this location, there are four possible combinations of the genes passed down to the child or a 25% chance that the child will have FA.
The FA gene mutation limits the production of a protein called frataxin. Frataxin is known to be an important protein that functions in the mitochondria (the energy producing factories) of the cell. Frataxin helps to move iron and is involved with the formation of iron-sulfur clusters, which are necessary components in the function of the mitochondria and thus energy production. We also know that specific nerve cells (neurons) degenerate in people with FA, and this is directly manifested in the symptoms of the disease.
Kaelan is not fully aware of the progression of FA and the family asks that people respect his innocence.
Kaelan is just like any other 10 year old. Kaelan enjoys Xbox, likes the show The Big Bang Theory, his favourite school subject is gym, and he enjoys anything that can be done or played outdoors: “dirt biking, dune buggying, four-wheeling, motocross, fishing, sports – like dodge ball, soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey,” he says.
The Carlson Family is choosing happiness. “This is what he’s got; nothing’s going to change that,” his mother Kelly says. “He needs to own this” She says that there is always some good that comes from the bad and he’s got to find it.
This platform holds a special place in my heart, as I have gotten to know Kaelan and his family so much. Being a singer/songwriter, and as Miss Teenage Lanark County I have had the opportunity to spread awareness at local community events about this rare genetic disease.
Ultimately, If I am chosen as Miss Teenage Canada 2015, I would like to become a FA Ambassador at a national level where I can work with FARA, Friedrich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, to to find a cure, as well as improve the quality of life for FA survivors.
This process would start with creating a good standing relationship with FARA, (currently located in Philadelphia); aligning Fundraising campaigns nationally in Canada to FARA’s current events and utilizing the many Social Media Platforms to spread awareness.
One of the biggest problems the FA families are faced with is the fact that it’s so rare. This national platform will allow me to share Kaelan’ story and message of Choosing happiness to all the families affected by this disease and ultimately help raise the money needed to find a cure.
Choosing Happiness has become the basis for a book Kaelan and Kelly wrote together after his diagnosis and are working on a plan to publish it over the next year; it’s not about Friedreich’s ataxia but about a person’s attitude towards life.
Felcia DeRosa is the fundraising and communications program director at the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), a non-profit charitable organization in the United States that helps fund and provide support for research, drug development, clinical trials and scientific conferences related to FA.
The Carlsons are just one of many families from around the world registered with the U.S.-based organization, fundraising monies to channel into research.
“Our scientists feel like this is a solvable problem,” said DeRosa. “We don’t have an approved treatment trial right now but hope to in the next few years.”
The goal is to find treatments that help slow, stop and then hopefully reverse the disease, she said.
The Carlsons’ hope that by sharing their story, they will help change the lives of others with Friedreich’s ataxia by raising awareness about the disease, which will hopefully lead to more funds for research and eventually, a cure.
Because of him, we’ll find a cure one day for everybody.”
Kaelan Carlson is choosing happiness.
What an amazing experience this fundraising adventure has been for me! I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to raise funds, for such an profound cause that has allowed me to have an impact in changing children’s lives – Free The Children.
Through a variety of brainstorming activities, and with the help of generous family and neighbours, I was fortunate to enough to setup a candy station in our home town during the Canada Day Festivities. I followed this event up with filling ½ tons with a very successful bottle drive. To finish my fundraising efforts, I hosted a 9 and Dine golf night with fantastic games, door
prizes and entertainment. The 9 hole golf was followed by amazing energy from the community while we enjoyed the beautiful meal that provided to us. I had the opportunity to play for this fun crowd, with special guest, my sister, Maeghan, and my cousin Grace Cavanagh accompanied by her dad, Brent. The golf 9 & Dine was an
excellent success and I am so thankful for all of those who donated their time and money to be part of the fun night! A special thanks to the staff from Pakenham Highlands Golf Course for the great dinner and golf game!
I would also like to congratulate the Pakenham General Store on their 175th anniversary!
Lastly, I am reaching out for your help to vote for me to fast track myself into the top 20 at the Miss Teenage Canada pageant! This award given to the individual with most votes – The People’s Choice Award. I know I have many faithful followers, and I hope you will support me during this time. To vote for me you have to become a VIP member on the Miss Teenage Canada website
http://www.missteenagecanada.com/vip-signup Please share, I really appreciate it! Thank you so much for your support!
I would like to wish everyone a wonderful and safe long weekend as well as a great week to follow. I have one more sleep and I will be going to the hotel to start this amazing experience as a Miss Teenage Canada Delegate!
Hi everyone! I hope you have been having a great week, full of fun summer activities!
As part of the preparation for Miss Teenage Canada we are required to complete blog assignments and the first blog is why Canada is amazing!
Why is Canada amazing? We are blessed with our cultural diversity and freedom of oppression and war. We are allowed and encouraged to speak freely. We are encouraged to become educated contributors in a bilingual country. Canadians continue to share hope and drive for a future that fills our true north strong and free.
For those who aren’t aware, Canada is the second largest country in the world and has absolutely stunning scenery! From far and wide, we are blessed with four colorful seasons, and breathtaking views of our clean lakes and rivers, mountains and valleys.
Being awarded the crown of Lanark County region – also known as the capital of “Maple Syrup” – I was able to see first hand what the Maple Leaf symbolizes. To start, amazing maple trees, and the products that are produced from them, like maple syrup, taffy, lotions and essential oils – all made from real maple sap!
Canada is also a country that likes to stay active and healthy. In fact, most Canadians embrace winter sports like skiing and skating – with Hockey being considered a very Canadian sport. The Ottawa Senators is my Home Town Team! Another sport fact I’d like to share with you is Dr. James Naismith who was the inventor of the Basketball. He resided in a town called Almonte, ON, which is in the Lanark County Region. Each summer, the town of Almonte hosts a fun 3 on 3 Tournament to support the sport and to honor Dr. James Naismith! Comparatively, our national sport of Rugby is something I had the opportunity to play during my High School experience! This is an exhilarating team building sport that shows the passion and drive that comes from each individual.
Canadians are noticed by there mannerisms of being friendly and polite. They are proud to support their troops that stand for peace, and a country of freedom. When devastation occurs in our world, Canadians are quick to respond to foreign nations with aid. We are fortunate to have giving citizens along with organizations like The Red Cross, and schools that embrace giving to children that are less fortunate living in third world countries.
We also embrace Canada Day and show our patriotism by wearing the colors of our flag, red and white and singing our national anthem proudly. A tradition that Canadians share is coming together as a community and celebrating the birth of our nation with fireworks!
Canadians have also share fantastic humor with comics that most don’t realize are Canadians! Comedians like Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Seth Rogan and Will Arnett are all Canadian Stars!
We have also been blessed with amazing and talented musicians from all across our country – Such as super stars; Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Bryan Adams, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morrisette. As well as new artists like Lennon and Maisy Stella who are sisters gifted with multiple talents like music and acting.
I am signing off with a beautiful quotation form an new Canadian artist, Brea Lawrenson, “There ain’t nothing else in this world like a Canadian Pearl.”
I hope everyone’s enjoying there summer! We are getting our beautiful Canadian July summer days with great bonfire evenings – something we all look forward too!
As I’ve mentioned before, my single, “Black & Blue”, is currently on country radio stations across Canada! I am up to 32 stations! I have also been keeping up with radio interviews and visits to the stations. It has been a privledge meeting all the Music Directors, and Hosts! Please contact your local country station and request my song today!
I was also invited to a Fundraising Charity Golf Tournament in support of Kids Help Phone at the Glenmar Golf & Country Club . This gave me the opportunity to speak about my experience with the pageant, show my support for the Kids Help Phone – such an amazing cause; and perform some of my original music for their guests. The food was amazing and the silent auctions prizes were something else! They also had a variety of games to raise money. Everyone had a great time – it was a lot of fun!
On June 19, 2015, Pakenham lost a young farmer, Chris Duncan. Chris was a neighbour of my families and was only 22 years old. He passed away from a farming accident. He was a partner with his parents on their family farm, and was to take over the farm with a wonderful future ahead. Chris was a proud farmer with the sweetest heart. My condolences go to his family and friends and anyone who had been touched by Chris. Our community came together for the Duncan family in there time of need. It makes me so proud to be from this area. I wrote a song a couple days after Chris passed, for his family, called “Until We Meet Again”. You can find my new song on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U87aq_I2LY&feature=youtu.be .
Some exciting news to share!! I entered a contest called “Chevy Tailgate” some time ago and I was 1 of 3 people invited to perform at the Dauphin Countryfest’s 25th Anniversary Festival on Saturday, June 27th in the Chevrolet “Chevy” Tent! This event took place in Dauphin, Manitoba!! To make things even more exciting, I was interviewed by Paul McGuire from CMT!! This was something I will never forget!! The CMT crew was fantastic!! The show was aired this past weekend and will be aired three more times so keep your eyes peeled for it! This was my first ever trip to Manitoba and they sure know how to put on a fantastic event! I was able to meet Chad Brownlee, Gord Bamford and watch many other amazing acts.
When I arrived back home to Pakenham, Canada Day was only a few short days away. It was planning and organizing time for me and my fantastic helpers. We decorated a float for the parade, with our local Civitan Club in support of Lanark County’s Foodbank! My little FA (Friedrich’s Ataxia) friend, Kaelan Carlson was able to be part of this special night as he shared his presence on the float with me. Friedrich’s Ataxia is my platform, and I have been working with Kaelan’s family on spreading awareness of this disease. To follow Kaelan’s search for a cure, go like his Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kaelan-Carlsons-Quest-for-a-Cure-for-Friedreichs-Ataxia/374657762697090?fref=ts . Our float was a great success as we were able to get donated food and money to the Lanark County food bank! Following the parade, I set up a Candy Bar to raise money for “Free The Children”. This was my first fundraising campaign, and it gave me a great kickoff to my fundraising goal. I also performed at the talent show where the whole community came out to watch everyone perform and finish the night off with an amazing show of fireworks. I am so fortunate to live in such a supportive community!
Tomorrow night, Tuesday July 7, I will be starting my second fundraising campaign. I will doing a bottle drive in my community in support of Free The Children! So get your bottles ready and I’ll be more than happy to take them for you! 🙂
Starting on Wednesday, July 8th, and running the next 5 Wednesdays, I have been invited to Almonte and their 5 Nights in July event to talk to youth about my experience with my journey to Miss Teenage Canada as well as what community means to me. I will also be performing some of my original songs! So come on out!
Lastly, my third fundraising campaign. I am hosting a 9 & Dine Golf in support of Free The Children on Friday, July 17th at 5pm. It is approaching quickly and for those of you who would like to join me for a fun event, please email for tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org . I would love to have you be part of this journey! This event includes 9 holes of golf at the Pakenham Highlands; beautiful steak or chicken dinner followed by live local music! I am also having a silent auction table, 50/50. Tickets are $65.00!
I hope everyone has an excellent week and looking forward to seeing you at my upcoming events!
“The song has ended but the melody lingers on…”
Good Night Everyone!
I hope everyone is doing awesome! Yet again, I have been super busy. I have been keeping busy with radio interview, writing new songs, working out and planning for the fundraiser I am hosting!
I was kindly asked to sing at the Almonte Relay For Life for the luminary service in memory of those who lost their lives to cancer. The song I sang for the service was a song I wrote called “So Long”. The service was beautiful and it was followed by hair donation to those who have cancer.
I am extremely pleased to say I am going to be hosting a Free The Children 9 & Dine at the Pakenham Highlands Golf course in Pakenham, ON. The event will take place on July 17th at 5pm. There will be a delicious dinner and local music along with a silent auction table and 50/50 after the 9 holes. I love getting my community together to support a great cause! For more information about the event you can go look at the Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/905855029476181/ or email me @missteenagelanarkcounty! This will be a fun night and hope to see lots there!
I have also been working out lots to get my “bikini body” for Nationals, It’s only in 6 weeks! I can’t wait to see all the girls at Nationals and experience all the new adventures! Here is a Jillian Michaels video that I love doing, you should try it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTT4W8ygJ7w
I also got to go to the Faces Magazine Casino Royale, it was so much fun! The night was filled with gambling with fake money, silent auction, live auction, 50/50 and a dance party with Brody Jenner! It was nice to see all the familiar staff who work for Faces, they sure did a great job! I was happy to see Kayla, she was the lovely lady who interviewed and featured me in the May addition.
“A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear.”
Hope everyone has an excellent week and remember… keep smiling!
Good night, sweet dreams!