MISS MS 2015: From pain to crowning glory for Miss Mississippi c - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

MISS MS 2015: From pain to crowning glory for Miss Mississippi contestants

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

From childhood and family illnesses, to surgeries and bullying, some of the Miss Mississippi contestants say they have had some hard knocks. But through it all, the lessons they have learned have made them even stronger candidates for the job of Miss Mississippi.

Laura Lee Lewis, Miss Riverland, has worn the crown of Miss Mississippi's Outstanding Teen, was second runner up two years ago, and first runner up in 2014. She says a childhood condition led to bullying, and name calling.

"Walking through middle school and high school growing up, people yelling out, hey look at the wicked witch of the west. It hurt," said Lewis.

Lewis explained her condition and the surgery to correct it.

"It was called midface hypoplasia and this part of my face didn't develop properly and this part of my face over developed," Lewis explained. "So they had to break this, pull this, there's metal here."

Miss Mississippi State University, Randi Kathryn Harmon, learned at an early age the importance of health and nutrition. It has helped her stay in shape and last year she was a swimsuit preliminary winner.

"It all started when my father suffered a massive heart attack in 2007," said Harmon. "So the dietician spoke to my brother and me about how we were now at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes and so I vowed then my family's problem was a Mississippi problem."

Katie Busby, Miss Delta State University, was 11 years old when what she thought was acne turned out to be something more serious.

"It's actually medically called a keratoacanthoma," Busby explained. "It would have eventually developed into cancer but we caught it early."

She says the confidence she now has came with a price. 

"When I was that young, it was very obvious and I got made fun of a lot and it was hard for me to deal with that," said  Busby.

All of the contestants have found ways to take personal struggles and turn them into personal missions, to inform and educate others.

Miss Mississippi State University Randi Kathryn Harmon was second runner up last year. This is the first year Katie Busby, Miss Delta State University has competed.

Copyright 2015 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly