Ms. New York United States



Hello All! My name is Patrice Hamilton and I'm proud to be your Ms. New York United States 2014. When I was born, I was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease, however at the time, the doctors did not elaborate on my condition therefore my parents were unaware of what affect this would have on my life, and I unfortunately had to learn the hard way.  I had not the understanding of why I was constantly in pain, feeling as though invisible people were hitting me, or why sometimes I would have extremely painful episodes causing me to thrash about, screaming and crying but then it would eventually go away.  No physical exam nor X-ray could give me the answer as to why this was happening. It got to the point I stopped asking to go to the doctor or hospital unless the pain was absolutely unbearable as people thought I was being "dramatic" or faking since I had no broken bones or bruises to justify something was actually wrong with me.  I had a severe case of pneumonia that nearly cost me my life at the age of 16 and it wasn't until then that the doctors explained that the pneumonia was a result of my having Sickle Cell.  I was in the hospital for over 2 weeks and out of school for a full month my junior year of high school.  During that three weeks I heard my mother be told 3 of the scariest things a parent should have to hear, "There is a chance she will die," "If she gets though this she will never be the same" and "The older she gets the worse it will be."  I returned to school 30lbs lighter, unable to fit any of my clothes properly.  I went from a size 11 to a size 5 in that short period of time.  As an A-/B+ student I had a hard time catching up in my classes.  I received the Sojourner Truth Award for maintaining academic excellence in my English class, however I failed my History class and was forced to repeat it my Senior year.  I was made fun of by other students for having to repeat a class.  I was also rumored to have had an eating disorder.  High school students can be cruel.   I met with a Hematologist and several other specialists learning more about what happened to me and what could happen to me as I got older.  Some people started treating me differently as if they felt sorry for me, if I sneezed or coughed they'd jump up, "Are you ok?!" So I chose to hide my condition from others. I would have a crisis occasionally this time more aware of what was happening however sometimes the pain medication I was prescribed wasn't enough. A crisis would happen everywhere and anywhere, at home, in college, at work, at the mall.  Unless there was a bystander who happened to be in the medical field, no one knew what I meant when I would drop to the floor in pain and say "I have Sickle Cell" or that I didn't need them to call 911 right away.  Later I realized just how many people are affected by Sickle Cell in one way or another and that it was rarely talked about and this remains even in the present day as more people are born with it or love someone who was.  I can't tell you how many times I would talk about Sickle Cell and someone would say "I had a friend who had that and passed away, is that what it was?!" It wasn't until I was pregnant that I managed to go over a year without experiencing a Sickle Cell Crisis.  This girl who once struggled with graduating high school as  a result of medical complications now has a Master's degree and is pursuing a doctorate.  I've come to realize I'm still here! I'm here to be the best mother I can be to my amazing 18 month old son and I'm here to talk about Sickle Cell to ANYONE who will listen.  I also realize people don't know they want to help a cause if they don't know there is a cause.  On March 30th I received the honor of being crowned Ms. New York United States 2014. During my reign and for the rest of my life I will be dedicating my time and efforts toward my personal platform, Sickle Cell Disease Awareness and Education, as well as several charitable causes including Relay for Life Campaign and the American Cancer Society.  July 1st-6th I will vie for the prestigious title of Ms. United States in Washington, DC where you can watch me in the pageant LIVE at www.missunitedstates.com HOWEVER in order for me to get there and make my dream a reality I am in serious need for your help.  Therefore I ask that you PLEASE donate ANYTHING regardless the amount as it is very much needed and appreciated! I cannot express how grateful I am for your support.

Donations

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  • Nessa Nicole 
    • $20 
    • 83 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 83 mos
  • Nakia Hickman 
    • $100 
    • 83 mos
  • Joe Morstatt 
    • $25 
    • 83 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 83 mos
See all

Organizer

Patrice Hamilton 
Organizer
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