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The City Journals

Teen Competes in National Miss Amazing Pageant

Oct 07, 2016 01:39PM ● By Mylinda LeGrande

Kimmie Hansen competes at the national Miss Amazing Pageant (Kris Hansen/Resident)

By Mylinda LeGrande | [email protected]

When for Kimmie Hansen was just 2 ½ weeks old, she had her first seizure. They continued almost daily. 

When she was 5 years old, she experienced a Grand mal seizure that lasted six hours. She was officially diagnosed with Dravet’s syndrome when she was 9. Now at 18 years old, she has graduated from West Jordan High School, assisted in getting a drug approved for use in the U.S. through the FDA and competed in the Miss Amazing Pageant. 

In March, during the Utah Miss Amazing Pageant, her dad was in the hospital having part of his foot amputated. Despite the hardship to their family, they decided that she should still participate. Her mother, Kris says that it has given Kimmie courage and strength to be involved in something more than just dealing with seizures and hospitals. It was during the pageant that she was able to made blankets for Primary Children as well as to collect cans for the food bank.

Kimmie said, “I did Miss Amazing for fun- it’s not for competing.  I [also] love horseback riding, cats and dogs. I love to cook, dance and sing, and I love [the movie] ‘Frozen.’ I sometimes have seizures in the shower.”. 

Her mom says that Kimmie is friends with everybody and afraid of nothing. Her best friend is her Grandma, and she has a sense of humor. 

Dravet’s Syndrome is a rare genetic epileptic encephalopathy (dysfunction of the brain). It begins in the first year of life in an otherwise healthy infant. Prior to 1989, this syndrome was known as epilepsy with polymorphic seizures, know either as (PMEI) or (SMEI). Kris says the life expected life expectancy to live past age 18 that was given to Kimmie was only 20 percent.

“We are grateful that she has made it this long because of the severity of her seizures,” says Kris.

Kimmie was 17 years old, when she won the teen division in the Utah Miss Amazing Pageant. The first thing she wanted to do was to call her dad who was in the hospital and tell him she had won. 

Family and friends were able to raise the funds for the family to go on to the national pageant on July 3 in Chicago. Currently, 37 states participate in National Miss Amazing. This time, her dad, Eric, was able to be there as his daughter was on the stage as well as her 14-year-old brother, Johnny, grandparents Kris. 

“When I saw him walk her across the stage after having surgery, it brought tears to my eyes,” said Kris. It was the trip of a lifetime.”

At the national pageant, she was interviewed, participated in service projects including making crafts for military personnel and for her talent, she sang, “Lavender Blue,” from “Cinderella.” At Nationals, she claimed the “Princess” title. 

On that trip, she and her family were able to do some sight-seeing and taste the famous Chicago pizza. The pageant was a great way for Kimmie to shine and she has done a lot of community service through the program such as giving speeches and handing out ribbons at community fairs and public gatherings.

In addition to the Dravet syndrome, Kimmie is also hypoglycemic and autistic, but that hasn’t stopped her from experiencing life making a difference. “We have traveled Connecticut, Minnesota., Chicago, Washington D.C.,” said Kris.

In Connecticut, Kimmie and her parents were able to meet Dr. Charlotte Dravet from France who was at a convention. In Minnesota, they found traveled to a hospital and found out there that the seizures were in too many places of the brain (69) to be able to have surgery to correct the problem. In Washington D.C., they were able to get approval for medication used in France used for treating the Dravet syndrome. With Sen. Orrin Hatch’s help, they were able to get orphan drug status, which is used for rare diseases and disorders to make the drug available for others in the United States to be able to use with those conditions. In addition to that medication and many others, Kimmie is participating in a cannabis extract drug trial through Primary Children’s Hospital that is used to treat kids with epilepsy. Her mom says that it has helped a lot with the seizures.

‘There is not much you can do during the seizures except give meds to her,” said Kris. “It has been a difficult thing to teach her that despite her limitations she can still give back to others. She would love to cook in a bakery—that is her dream.”