Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a rare disease that causes blood vessels to clump together within the skull. It can lead to aneurisms, strokes, or early death. However, surgery is possible to correct the clumped vessels.
Erica Carnegie is one of the individuals who has had this life saving surgery, and she is now using her platform as Clay County Teen to share her story.
Erica will be participating in the competition for Miss Florida Teen USA in April of 2021. If she is crowned, she will move on to compete for Miss Teen USA.
Erica’s journey has not been easy. After facing the brain surgery she did, she wanted to help others dealing with both the physical pain from AVM and the emotional trauma that it can cause.
Erica became the very first Youth Ambassador for the Aneurysm and AVM Foundation.
She also decided to use her platform in pageantry to share her story. It has always been a dream of hers to compete in pageants, and she has made that dream come true for herself. She has been competing for the past four years and in that time she has won many state and national titles.
Erica works to mentor younger girls who are apprehensive about competing or are new to the pageantry world. She wants to make it clear that no matter your background, or if you look “different,” you are beautiful and can follow your dreams.
Erica is a fighter, and she shares that fight with all she meets.
She graduated at the top of her high school class, and walked across the stage at 17 not only with a high school diploma but an Associate’s degree!
She now is studying at Stetson University with high goals of attending law school following graduation.
You can read more of Erica’s story and her road to Miss Teen USA here.