Mary Anna Parker strolls the runway in a competition. Contributed photo

Miss Redmond to raise awareness for MS at state competition

Mary Anna Parker had never considered participating in a beauty pageant because she said there were too many connotations attached to the competitions in her mind.

That changed, though, after the Redmond resident was approached by a woman at Seattle Fashion Week who asked if she was interested. She originally wasn’t, but she said while talking with the representative from the pageant, she started to change her mind.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to get the word out further about multiple sclerosis,” she said.

Multiple sclerosis, or MS as many people familiar with it call it, is a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and eyes.

It slowly degrades the ability of people with the disease to move, see and function.

Parker’s mother was diagnosed with MS in 2011.

At first, Parker said she and her sister were scared, and going to events with other MS patients was described as nerve-wracking.

The sisters went to a MS camp for kids and learned about the disease and how to deal with it as family members.

As she’s learned more, Parker said her family decided to fight back and try and raise money and awareness for research.

“It’s not really a disease that many people are very familiar with,” she said.

The trio attended events from bike rides to runs to help raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society here and in California with the ultimate goal of finding a cure.

Part of the way she’s helping to raise awareness is by competing in the Miss Washington Teen competition in November representing Redmond.

After she applied, Parker went through a series of interviews and was eventually selected to compete with other teens from across the state for the title.

She said her initial views on the competition have been changing, especially since she’s met other contestants who have all been welcoming and friendly.

She’s also jumping through hoops lining everything up for the competition.

“I didn’t realize there’s all these things I need to have ready and be prepared for,” she said.

It’s important for people to remember, she said, that the competition is more than a beauty pageant and that lots of her fellow competitors are participating for different causes.

For her, though, the message is constant.

“I think it’s important for people to know that MS affects a lot of people very differently,” she said.

The Washington USA Pageant provides cash, prizes, awards and scholarships for the state’s top finalists and for some other contestants, according to its website.

The statewide pageant will be held on Nov. 4 -5 and a location has not yet been announced.

More in News

Redmond sets legislative priorities

At Tuesday’s Redmond City Council study session, council members were presented with… Continue reading

Tesla STEM’s Schools Under 2C program exceeds expectations

For the past year, students at Redmond’s Tesla STEM High School have… Continue reading

Christianson’s trial set for March 19

Tami Annett Christianson, who pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges of… Continue reading

Conservationists: Why you should care about fish pens

Open water fish pens have long been criticized by conservation activists as… Continue reading

Police investigating thefts from UPS trucks | Police Blotter for Nov. 7-13

Monday, Nov. 13 You’ve got no mail: Redmond police took a mail-theft… Continue reading

Trees fall in Redmond during storm

A driver gets stuck rolling over a downed tree on Monday night… Continue reading

Arts will illuminate Redmond Lights on Dec. 2

Redmond Lights returns on Dec. 2 in celebration of the city’s diverse… Continue reading

Redmond’s Hooper appointed to the State Emergency Management Council

The City of Redmond Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Director Dr. Pattijean… Continue reading

Redmond firefighters associations offer $1,000 scholarships

The Redmond Firefighters Union, IAFF Local #2829, and Redmond Firefighters Benevolent Fund… Continue reading

Most Read