Wednesday, November 21, 2012
MISS AMERICA CONTESTANT, 24, TO UNDERGO PREVENTIVE DOUBLE MASTECTDOMY
She adds, "My dad said he begged her for years and years to get it removed, but she said no. It's ultimately the thing that killed her. I had to become my own mentor. I had to go pick out my prom dress by myself. I had to go to my high school graduation without my mom. She didn't see me go off to college or go on my first date or drive a car for the first time." But after the "very difficult" experience of losing someone she calls "incredible," Rose will make a huge sacrifice to ensure her own life will last."It's a very scary proposition," the model, who also works as a paralegal, says of undergoing the surgery. "But my father and I have met with a surgeon and countless doctors. Some of them are wary because I don't have breast cancer and I am so young, but others have said it's a very smart move, especially for someone who is genetically predisposed."
Choosing Life over Beauty
Rose describes the breast reconstructive plan as "very risky" and "not exactly seamless," but one that is worth it."Your skin may be damaged in a way that you will lose your nipple, or sometimes women lose all of their breast tissue," she says, [but], "Breasts don't define your life. I'm choosing life over beauty. I'm choosing to remove something that's so iconic to my womanhood." Rose – who looks up to Robin Roberts and Giuliana Rancic, who both have battled breast cancer – is using her pageant opportunity as a platform to teach people how to be proactive in their healthcare. "Title holders across the country get an opportunity to speak to their generation and have something they can advocate," she says. "Being in the industry and competing in the most iconic swimsuit competition in the world, I thought to myself, 'If I were to win and have this surgery a year from now, would I be a different Miss America because I lost my breast?' No."
Should she win the competition, Rose plans to undergo surgery after her duties are complete in January 2014. If she does not win, she will have the procedure done after her local duties are complete next June.
"To win the pageant would truly have my mother's dreams for me come to fruition," says Rose, who will show off her unique roller skating talents during the competition. "Never once in my life did I doubt my mom's love for me or that she wouldn't do anything to have me succeed in life. Some people will never experience that kind of relationship with a parent."