The 24-year-old Miss District of Columbia will compete on Saturday, January 12, for the Miss America crown. Win or lose, she plans to have a double mastectomy because she has a rare genetic mutation that predisposes her to cancer. Rose lost her mother, grandmother and great aunt to breast cancer and doesn’t plan on being the next victim in her family.
Reflecting on the death of her mother, the beauty pageant contest says:
"My mom would have given up every part of her body to be here for me, to watch me in the pageant. If there's something that I can do to be proactive, it might hurt my body, it might hurt my physical beauty, but I'm going to be alive. I've been thinking how powerful that might be to have a Miss America say, 'I might be Miss America, but I'm still going to have surgery. I'm going to take control of my own life, my own health care.”
There are some who are criticizing Rose for her decision, viewing it as ‘mutilation’ of her body. Let’s hope such superficial views are squashed as the message it sends is not healthy.