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Carol Eustice

2012 Miss America Contestant Had Juvenile Arthritis

By January 13, 2012

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The Miss America Pageant will air Saturday January 14, 2012, live from Las Vegas, Nevada, at 9 p.m. EST on ABC. Elizabeth Wertenberger is competing as Miss Michigan. Wertenberger, who today is a 22-year-old blonde beauty, spent half of her years in chronic pain. At age 3, she experienced severe leg pain. As is often the case when youngsters have unexplained pain, doctors suggested it was just growing pains. Eventually, she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.

Interestingly, she got involved in dance and, at times, actually felt her arthritis symptoms were relieved by dance. After years of struggling with pain and searching for relief, with some years being worse than others, she went into remission. Her platform for the Miss America competition is "Continue to Dream: Giving Hope to Children With Chronic Illnesses." Let's cheer her on!

Update: Laura Kaeppeler, a 23-year-old from Wisconsin, won the Miss America 2012 beauty pageant.

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Photo Miss America Organization

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