Aww!
Teen melts hearts winning pageant with her service dog by her side
Brady helped Alison every step of the way, and he even got his own little crown too.
Irene Markianou
12.06.22

Living with a chronic illness or a condition that puts you under the “people with special needs” category is not taboo anymore.

Unsplash - Possessed Photography
Source:
Unsplash - Possessed Photography

People who live with autism, others who have dwarfism, or even those who suffer from epilepsy are not considered “freaks,” as they might have been perceived by some fifty years ago.

Thankfully, humankind has developed and people have opened their hearts and minds in an attempt to create as inclusive communities as possible.

However, there are still those who consider people with special needs incapable of pursuing their dreams.

Just like the person who was overhearing Alison Appleby’s chat with a friend and commented that she couldn’t compete in a pageant because she has a disability.

Well, that was what made Alison decide that she would participate in that competition. She might not win, but she’d not let her chronic illness keep her back.

Alison was diagnosed with autism when she was two years old, but it wasn’t until much later that doctors realized that she had actually been having seizures all these years.

“I have focal seizures or absent seizures, so I stare into space,” she explained in an interview with Fox News. “Sometimes I’ll be speaking, and it sounds like I’m speaking a different language, but to me, it sounds totally normal.”

For this reason, she always has her service dog right next to her. Brady was paired with Alison last year and since then they have been inseparable.

He has been going through training to be a seizure-alert dog, which means he’s learning how to alert others when Appleby is experiencing a seizure or is about to endure one.

So, in October, Alison did end up competing in the pageant for Miss Teen Dallas. And, to her surprise, she actually won!

YouTube - WFAA
Source:
YouTube - WFAA

Appleby had never taken part in such a competition before and she had no idea what she was getting herself into.

But she knew she had to do this to prove to herself and to everyone else that just because she has some kind of disability doesn’t mean she can’t chase her dreams.

As Miss Dallas pageant director Jennifer Ortiz explained, Alison won the hearts of the judges from the very first moment.

She was so smart, kind, and sociable that the judges immediately knew she had won the competition.

Facebook - Miss Dallas Pageant - Miss Dallas Teen Pageant
Source:
Facebook - Miss Dallas Pageant - Miss Dallas Teen Pageant

“Alison really won the entire pageant in interview,” she said. “She was just absolutely amazing — the way that she spoke, she was very intelligent, very communicative with our judges.”

The 17-year-old was crowned Miss Teen Dallas 2022, and everyone cheered for her.

The most heart-melting moment, however, was when Brady also received his own tiny crown.

YouTube - WFAA
Source:
YouTube - WFAA

Next up, Alison will be competing for Miss Teen Texas, and she really has nothing to lose.

She’s not afraid of chasing her dreams anymore. She knows that she can achieve whatever she sets her mind on if she tries hard enough.

Alison is also trying to spread awareness for invisible illnesses and convince children and teens living with disabilities that there are no limits to what they can accomplish.

Unsplash - Cory Woodward
Source:
Unsplash - Cory Woodward

Watch Appleby talk about her pageant experience in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Irene Markianou
[email protected]
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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