Not many can say they’ve spearheaded a campaign against cancer before they were old enough to vote - such is the case for 16-year-old Maddison Patton, winner of the Miss Kane County Pageant’s Queen category.
“I did my platform because my grandma was a huge part of my life”, Patton explains. “She passed within a year of being diagnosed with cancer. We’ve all heard of cancer, but a lot of people see it as something that just happens to other people. Then someone you love gets it and it’s devastating. People need to be more aware.”
Patton’s campaign for breast cancer awareness is part of her stint as the reigning Miss Kane County Pageant Queen Patton took the crown over six other candidates in her category.
“I joined the pageant because I wanted to make friends.” Patton said. “When we moved here a few years ago, I lived in a big group with my family and just kind of hung out with them … then, starting high school, I wanted to make new friends! I originally went out for the pageant because it was a chance to meet people from both Kanab and Valley.”
Patton told the tale of her pageant success flustered but smiling. “It kinda scared me! I have lots of experience in the theater, but in the theater, you get months and months to prepare. The pageant was kind of nerve wracking, we had just a few weeks … It may have been crazy, but I’d say it made my summer like five times better. I would recommend to anybody to do it.”
Patton has big plans for her reigning year as Miss Kane County, especially supporting her cause and campaign. “It’s a lot of planning right now. We’re holding a raffle, a fundraising drive, a chalk dance … Right now, we’re just planning a lot, but we’ve got a ton happening very soon!” October is the nationally recognized Breast Cancer Awareness month, so much of Patton’s plans to support the cause line up with other initiatives like mobile mammograms and early detection conventions.
Other plans for the cause include, a community candlelight walk down main street, and a community outreach day with a support booth for anyone who has been affected by breast cancer. According to Madison’s mother, Elizabeth, the goal is to “show exactly how many people have been affected by this; to demonstrate how many people have breast cancer or know someone who has.” Both of these events will include opportunities for donations and other ways for the community to engage and support the cause.
Per Elizabeth, “These funds will stay 100 percent in our community and will go to people who need support … while they go through chemo or the aftercare of a mastectomy. Madison has been in touch with providers for custom supports for mastectomy patients, as well as with mobile mammogram and early detection services, with hopes of such services being available for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities.
As she summed up her experience, it would seem that Patton achieved her original goal for joining the pageant in the first place, as well as taking up her chosen cause with aplomb: “I met so many new people! I’ve made lots of new friends, not just the girls and not just from Kanab … and let everyone know they can donate to the cause and get people medical help by contacting me!”