Two young ladies competing in this years Miss South Carolina pageant were shocked to find out they had more in common than their dreams of a crown.
A year ago, Lara Scott and Lane Christopher didn't know each other.
“God has brought lane and I together for some sort of purpose….and its amazing”
But while competing for places at this year's Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen, the two Capital City beauty queens found they share a bond over a rare and unique brain deformity.
Lara Scott: “This girl comes up to me and she grabs my arm and goes, 'Do you know anybody that has this? And I'm like yea! I have it' and then she started crying.”
The two girls live with Chiari, a brain defect that causes fluid to build up at the base of the brain.The result is a variety of painful physical issues, including chronic headaches and paralysis.
“I taught myself to dance through pain. I'd get a headache, I'd lie down… it would last for about five minutes and I'd get right back up. It's all I've ever known, really.”
The girls say that coming to the Miss South Carolina pageant with someone who understands their pain and knows what they're going through, is something they don't take for granted.
Lane Christopher: “I honestly never talked about Chiari, or my pain, before I met Lara because no one understood.”
“We can look at each other and I will know that she's in pain, but we both know we just keep going, you just keep truck'n.”
The girls hope the exposure they get through the Miss South Carolina pageant will help bring awareness to the incurable and often misdiagnosed condition.
“If you feel like you're having symptoms, you need to ask somebody.”
As the competitions come to a close… win or lose, the girls hope they have given a voice to those who are not able to speak out.