Colleen for Miss USA (MA):
This weekend (Nov. 21 – 22), CAN Recover’s Colleen Fagan will be running for Miss Massachusetts! The Miss USA organization caught wind of her concussion recovery story and reached out to her a few weeks ago to participate in the competition. Colleen is not only running to become queen, but is using this experience as an opportunity to spread concussion awareness. Although she is busy preparing, we were able to bug her for a quick interview!
What was your initial reaction when you heard that Miss Massachusetts USA was inviting you to participate in this year’s competition?
When I first received the invitation to participate in this Miss Massachusetts USA pageant, I was a little shocked. I thought that it was a joke. Here I was, a former ice hockey player with no experience with pageants and I was being invited to participate. Then, taking it more seriously I thought that it would be a great opportunity to share my story and raise awareness about concussions.
What kind of preparation have you needed to go through?
Oh, wow! The preparation for Miss Massachusetts USA has been extensive. First, I had to go and buy all of the dresses, shoes, and accessories, which in and of itself can be very overwhelming. Next, I had to get cleared by my doctors to begin to workout so that I could get in the best shape possible. Then, as the competition has grown closer I have had to work with pageant coaches on how to interview and how to walk. Yes – how to walk! I actually spent 2 hours practicing my walk in one day. Other than that, it was all about mentally preparing myself for what is to come this weekend!
You said you were going to use this opportunity to spread concussion awareness. What do is the most important message you will convey to others?
The most important message that I will convey to others is that concussions need to be taken seriously and that if you are going through a prolonged recovery you are not alone. I think that too many times, people brush off concussions and their symptoms and try to attribute them to something else – stress, depression, or just an over active imagination. By sharing my story, I hope to give others the knowledge that they are not alone and give them the hope that they will recover.
What are you most looking forward to for the November 21 & 22 competition?
I am really looking forward to the opportunity to share my story and raise awareness about concussions. To be honest, I am not in it for the glitz and glamour and fame that will go along with the title Miss Massachusetts USA. Rather, I want to win so that I can share my story with people across Massachusetts and the nation. In sharing my story, I want touch people’s lives and give them hope and determination to recover.
You can cheer on Colleen at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Saturday at 8 PM (preliminaries) and Sunday at 5 PM (finals). More details and tickets can be found here.
Best of luck Colleen!