Gabby Arthurs: she’s ‘Miss Amazing’
Just a few weeks ago, Gabby Arthurs won a pageant unlike any other.
The 10-year-old Trinity girl, who has a chromosome disorder called Trisomy 14 mosaic, won her age division in the North Carolina Miss Amazing Pageant, and now she’s headed to the national pageant.
“I like to win,” Gabby says excitedly. “I won a crown and a trophy and a sash.”
The Miss Amazing Pageant is a new national pageant system focused on “celebrating the abilities of girls and women with disabilities,” according to the pageant’s website. The goal, in addition to highlighting the abilities of girls and young women with developmental disabilities, is to instill self-confidence in the participants.
“It’s a really great event,” says Gabby’s mother, Linda Craig. “On stage in their evening wear, these girls truly felt like queens. The Miss Amazing Pageant is such an awesome opportunity for the girls to shine.”
The inaugural North Carolina Miss Amazing Pageant was held March 2 in Murphy. That’s where Gabby won her crown, and the right to compete in the national pageant, which will be held this August in Omaha, Neb.
Tax-deductible donations are being accepted for a fund that has been established to help send Gabby, her mom and her father, Ched Arthurs, to the national pageant. The family hopes to raise about $4,000.
At the state pageant, Gabby — who loves to sing and dance — won the talent division for her age group (10-12), singing one of her favorite songs, “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars.
Performing onstage is nothing new to Gabby. She has sung at an annual special-needs talent show in Greensboro.
“She’s very comfortable in front of a crowd,” Craig says.
Trisomy 14 mosaic is a rare genetic disorder that can be characterized by such symptoms as growth delays before birth, failure to grow at the expected rate during infancy, psychomotor delays and mental retardation.
Children with the disorder can also have head and facial abnormalities, such as a prominent forehead; deeply set, widely spaced eyes; a broad nasal bridge; and low-set, malformed ears.
It can also lead to early onset of such diseases as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and thyroid disease.
In Gabby’s case, she has low-set ears, as well a left leg that’s shorter than her right (she wears a shoe lift), and a left arm that’s shorter than her right.
“I had never heard of it before,” Craig recalls. “They gave us a little info sheet with some websites to look at and about a page of information about (the disorder). ... I felt my world just crashed, wondering what I was going to do. How is she going to have a decent life if the doctors can’t help me? But I just started doing research and trying to find out whatever I could.”
The journey has not been easy, but Craig is proud of who Gabby has become, despite her disabilities. And the Miss Amazing Pageant has given Gabby a forum to show just what she can do.
“She loves things like this,” Craig says. “She really enjoys shining and singing and dancing, and she meets new people so easily. Did I think she would win? Win or lose, it didn’t matter — I knew she would have fun.”
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Want to help?
A fund to help send Gabby Arthurs and her mother and father to the national Miss Amazing Pageant has been established at Wells Fargo, 11245 N. Main St., Archdale.
Donations are tax-deductible.
Make checks payable to Miss Amazing Inc. and write “NC Team Gabby Arthurs” to designate your contribution for Gabby.
For more information about the pageant, visit www.missamazingpageant.com.