Angie: How did you learn about this pageant?
Lindsey: I was approached by a former contestant who told me that she thought I would be a perfect fit for the International system because of my extensive work with the non-profit organization, DebRA of America and epidermolysis bullosa, a genetic disease involving the skin and mucus membranes.
Angie: What titles have you held?
Lindsey: Mrs. Ohio International 2009
Angie: What is your platform?
Lindsey: Epidermolysis Bullosa, Hard to Say, Easy to Learn About! (www.debra.org)
Angie: How did you build your platform and promote your work?
Lindsey: My family and I live our platform daily. In 2003, our son was born with a disease we knew nothing about, or even how to pronounce. Epidermolysis bullosa, or EB is a genetic disease that affects the soft tissue and mucus membranes causing blistering inside and outside the body. There is no cure for EB except daily wound care and bandaging.
My husband and I work daily to raise awareness about EB and to raise research dollars in hopes that a cure can be found for all EB children, including our son Maxx. I am currently the spokesperson for the national research foundation, DebRA of America who offers support, dressing needs, medical advice to EB families.
Angie: Why did you decide to compete?
Lindsey: I decided to compete for my son Maxx and all others living with EB.
Angie: What keeps/kept you competing?
Lindsey: Knowing the fact that I get to talk to others about EB and raise awareness for this rare disease.
Angie: Was/is competition scary?
Lindsey: Competition is definitely a scary feeling, but I would have to say it is more of an invigorating feeling to be able to step outside your comfort zone for an evening and become focused, poised, and ready to do your absolute best!
Angie: What personal fears did you have to overcome?
Lindsey: The interview process was a personal fear of mine. I am a very outgoing person and find it easy to start a conversation with others, however it is extremely hard to sit down with a judge one-on-one for only five-minutes and get the key points across that you want to discuss.
Angie: I so understand. Natural conversations are easy. Interviews aren't organic like a natural conversation. What did you have to learn to compete?
Lindsey: I don’t know if I had to necessarily learn anything, but I definitely had to stay focused on my reasons for competing. Sure, I had to learn how to walk for different phases of on-stage competition, but in the end I needed to be sure that my reasons for being on that stage were the right ones. Everything else just falls into place after that!
Angie: Tell us about what you were able to do with your title:
Lindsey: In the past year I have traveled to all parts of Ohio, and a half-dozen other states to raise awareness for EB and DebRA of America as Mrs. Ohio International. My most memorable event was New York for the national fundraiser for DebRA of America. I was able to meet Will Ferrill, Mats Wilander, and Roger Waters. The event brings in close to a half of a million dollars for research and education for EB.
Angie: Please tell us about a dream, why it's been a goal, and what it means to you?
Lindsey: A dream of mine was to become a school teacher. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college. This was a goal of mine going into high school, and I achieved that and much more. I have now been teaching for ten years, have a master’s degree and was awarded teacher of the year by my school district.
Angie: What do you still want to achieve?
Lindsey: I would like to continue achieving successful fundraising for DebRA of America through my efforts with my family and son by my side. To date, we have helped contribute over $25,000 to DebRA of America.
Angie: Do you believe you can achieve it?
Lindsey: I know that I can achieve this goal. With my family by my side, anything is possible!
Angie: What tips would you give other women wanting to enter the pageant world?
Lindsey: Be yourself! Stay focused on your reasons for competing!
Angie: Do you do a lot of public speaking?
Lindsey: Any chance I can get to raise awareness about EB, I will take it! I would say on average, I speak to a group at least once a month about the importance of raising awareness and funds for EB.
Angie: Do you have other creative talents you pursue?
Lindsey: I enjoying sewing and teaching aerobics at the YMCA.
Angie: Is it important for a person to look their best?
Lindsey: I don’t know if it is “important”, but I know that when I look my best, I feel my best!
Angie: What do you hope you achieved with your titles long term?
Lindsey: I hope that ten years from now people will still be talking about this small town girl and her big ideas of fundraising and educational awareness for a devastating disease…and how it has paid off!
Angie: Will you compete again?
Lindsey: I hope that the opportunity presents itself again, I have had a blast!
Angie: Would you share about your fashion favorites, flair, or a tip that makes you feel beautiful?
Lindsey: I am addicted to jeans! A great fitting pair of jeans is such an amazing feeling! I can feel comfy with my flats and faded out jeans, or sexy with a pair of stilettos and low slung jeans! It’s all in the style!
Angie: What compliment do you receive most often?
Lindsey: I would have to say my shoulders. People are always telling me that my shoulders and arms look great! It is my favorite body part to work-out!
Angie: Do you accept compliments well?
Lindsey: I do! I love the fact that people can compliment others. It reminds me that I need to pay it forward!
Angie: How does a woman accept a compliment gracefully?
Lindsey: A simple “thank you” and a great smile!
Angie: What are you most confident about?
Lindsey: Telling others how I feel, good and bad!
Angie: How did you earn that sense of confidence?
Lindsey: My mother…she once told me to be a leader and to disregard jelousy! I still believe this today!
Angie: What would you like to share?
Lindsey: My family’s ultimate goal is to spread as much awareness as possible for this devastating disease. There is no cure for EB, but we feel confident that spreading awareness and advocating for the research foundation is the key to finding a cure. Epidermoysis Bullosa is hard to say, but it is very easy to learn about!
Angie: Please share your websites, blogs, and any other places readers can connect or learn more about you and your work:
Angie: Thank you, Lindsey, for interviewing with me. I'm deeply touched and hope the cure and better treatment options are found very soon!