Tennessee Valley’s Teen Princess Peyton Wilson, who was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in 2010, is among the top 25 finalists in Fourpoints magazine’s Make Me a Cover Model Contest.
The voting started on Friday at the magazine’s website (http://fourpointsmagazine.com/voting13/item/983-peyton-kirby-wilson) and continues until March 25. The top five will advance to the final vote which begins on March 29th and concludes on April 15. The winner will be on the cover of the August issue along with being the featured story.
Miss Wilson, who won the Tennessee Valley Teen Princess local preliminary in October, will be competing at next weekend’s state pageant in Jackson. She is among the 16 contestants who will compete in interview, fitness wear, evening attire and on stage question.
The 16-year-old sophomore at Elizabethton High School wants to increase Tourette awareness through her platform Peyton’s Purpose.
Her mother, Chana Kirby had wondered why her daughter was excessively clearing her throat three years ago but she later learned that an untreated strep infection caused an autoimmune response which resulted in Miss Wilson being diagnosed with Tourette.
Miss Wilson has the tic disorder PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder associated with a Strep infection). It is extremely rare for females to be diagnosed with Tourette’s since only three out of every 1,000 have the syndrome and of those, boys are three times more likely to have Tourette. Tourette is likelier to occur among 12 to 17 year olds. Miss Iowa Mariah Cary, who has Tourette, was the fourth runner-up at January’s Miss America Pageant. Soccer star David Beckham and comedian Howie Mandel are among the celebrities also diagnosed with the syndrome.
While she is not among the 25% who have severe symptoms of the syndrome, Miss Wilson has overcome the challenges she has encountered as a result of having Tourette’s. She is the Right Line Guard for her high school marching band and is a youth advocate for the National Tourette Syndrome Association (NTSA). She is also excelling academically as she is a member of the Fine Arts and Humanities Honors Program.
After graduating from Elizabethton in 2015, she wants to major in Music Education in college with a goal of obtaining her Masters’ degree.
If she wins the state title, Miss Wilson wants to partner with the Tennessee Department of Education and the NTSA to increase awareness of Tourette’s and also to urge students to treat their physically and/or emotionally challenged peers with respect.