Chelsea Vineyard recently received the title of Miss Teen Ottawa World. She is 18 years old and is participating in this year’s Miss Teen Canada-World Pageant! Chelsea also has a food allergy to peanuts and has chosen anaphylaxis as her platform in hopes to raise allergy awareness. Anaphylaxis Canada spoke with the new member of their Youth Advisory Panel and asked her questions about life with allergies and her Miss Teen Ottawa crown.
I have an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts but I am also allergic to penicillin.
2) When did you get involved in pageants?
My first pageant was in January when I won my title. I have also been modeling for a while in Ottawa.
3) How did it feel to win the Miss Teen Ottawa crown?
To win the Miss Teen Ottawa crown felt amazing! It is such an amazing moment when you feel that you can make a difference and actually have a chance. You also just feel on top of the world standing on the stage. It was probably one of the best moments of my life!
4) Why did you choose food allergy awareness as your campaign issue?
I chose food allergy awareness because I have lived with my allergy for my whole life and have gone through a lot of challenges. Some of them are people not understanding, to actually getting peanut butter pushed at me. I want to help the children growing up with allergies have a happier and safer life.
5) Why do you think food allergy awareness is important?
I think food allergy awareness is important because it is becoming more common. As more children develop allergies, people have to be more understanding and have knowledge on the issue. Not just parents with children with allergies, but every person because they can never know when they will be in a situation where they should refrain from eating a certain food item, or even worse, have to give someone an epinephrine auto-injector.
6) What are your future goals with your Miss Teen Ottawa crown?
My future goals with my Miss Teen Ottawa crown is to keep moving forward with my allergy awareness platform and possibly going to schools and speaking about it. I also want to be a role model for children and show them that they can follow their dreams no matter what life challenge they have. I also would love to become Miss Teen Canada World 2013!
7) What’s one piece of advice you would like to give teens with food allergies?
One piece of advice I would give teens is don’t let your allergy stand in the way of your life. I was so worried about going away to school because of my allergy, but I did anyway because I don’t want my allergy to affect my choices in life. Teens should go have fun and live their life and know that their allergy is manageable and shouldn’t restrict them from doing things. They should still take precautions but know that they don’t have to sit at home and not go out because of their allergy.
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