Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen supports psoriasis
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Tiara Pennington, daughter of Dedra Eastland Pennington and Don Pennington, is the reigning Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen 2015.
The lovely and talented vocalist is 16 years old and a sophomore at Helena High School.
She has devoted her time during the last few years to promote her platform, Psoriasis Take Action, in support of her mother and uncle who suffer from the chronic disease as she has competed in the Miss Alabama Teen Pageants.
Through dedication and hard work, she has raised awareness and funds for a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, a chronic disease that affects over 7.5 million people in the U.S.
“What is psoriasis? It is a chronic, autoimmune and genetic disease. The immune system is triggered to speed up skin cell growth causing skin lesions to form on the skin. This can cause non-stop itching, pain and embarrassing scars. What is psoriatic arthritis? A chronic joint disorder linked to psoriasis which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints” (see hhtp://npf.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participation, Pennington’s personal Team National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) page).
Pennington is a Youth Community Ambassador for the NPF, the youngest in the nation. Her platform’s theme is “Never Lose Hope.” On Jan. 29, Pennington held a Psoriasis Take Action Alabama Support Group Meeting at the Helena Sports Complex with over 25 attendees.
Pennington has been invited to attend an NPF training session in San Francisco in July 2015 to further her education as a youth ambassador for the NPF.
Pennington recently spoke at Elvin Hill Elementary School about psoriasis and was warmed when one of the students in the class informed the group that he has psoriasis.
What began as a fact-telling event became much more personal as the disease became real to the children through one of their own telling of his suffering.
Pennington will compete March 6-8 in the Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen 2015 pageant in Sylacauga.
She modeled her wardrobe and sang her talent selection at the recent GFWC-Alabama Vignette Club February 2015 meeting.
Pennington’s mother was a former Miss Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Miss Leeds and Miss Dixie winner.
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