Cancer survivor shares message of hope during beauty pageants

Every woman handles life after cancer differently. Some decide to raise money, others run a marathon. Kimberly Fanning became a beauty queen.

Abby Del Vecchio

Mar 23, 2023, 2:24 AM

Updated 423 days ago

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Every woman handles life after cancer differently. Some decide to raise money, others run a marathon. Kimberly Fanning became a beauty queen.
"For some reason, when you put on the crown, you almost feel like a superhero. You feel like you can make a difference in the world," said Fanning.
She says pain in her abdomen in 2018 led to a hysterectomy, then a diagnosis of uterine cancer.
"When I had found out I told my doctor I don't want to know a stage and I don't want to know a life expectancy," she said.
Treatment tested her spirit. Fanning relied on faith and found her way back to health and happiness for a while.
"I was in my chart, and I accidentally clicked somewhere where--boom, it was right in my face. It was stage four. I took a deep breath. The next day I thought I saw this for a reason, I think the reason is for me to share a message," said Fanning. "I googled it. I googled how to share a message. That's when pageantry came up."
Wearing five-inch heels, Fanning won Mrs. Connecticut. Next stop--Mrs. America.
"It doesn't matter if you win or lose, the fact that you were there and were part of it, it does something inside," she said.
Using that pageant poise, Fanning created makeup tutorials for survivors and paid for their makeup and wigs through her charity Beauty of Courage.
"It's about overcoming adversity, if it wasn't for the cancer journey, I would never have been in Mrs. America," she said. "I wouldn't have been googling how to share a message. I wouldn't have had a message to share."
Fanning now gives motivational speeches on overcoming adversity.


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