By Kaitlin Candelaria
Kyra Callens is using her position as Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from breast cancer.
Callens, who is a junior at Oak Mountain High School, chose breast cancer awareness as her platform after watching several family members go through the devastating diagnosis.
“My family and I know personally the heartbreak, struggle and triumph brought by this devastating disease,” she said. “My grandmother, great aunts and cousins were affected. Recently, my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a double mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy, radiation and reconstructive surgery. My aunt and I have always had a very special bond, so with her diagnosis and treatment, I knew I had to support efforts to find a cure.”
Callens has spent more than 200 hours in the past three years raising money and volunteering for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She also has helped businesses negotiate contracts with the foundation to donate a percentage of their proceeds towards the cause.
Callens is now hosting a “Picture the Cure” photogenic contest through Oct. 31. Callens took 18 patients and survivors from all over the state and treated them to a full weekend of pampering, relaxation and makeovers.
“I came up with the idea of a photogenic contest because I love taking photos, and what girl doesn’t love being pampered?” Callens said. “I thought this would be a great way to uplift breast cancer patients and survivors to be able to let their unique personalities shine through. My main goal is to make this experience refreshing for our survivors and to make them feel beautiful!”
The women were photographed and now Callens is asking the public to vote for their favorite candidate. Each vote costs $5 and all money will go toward supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
To vote for your favorite candidate, visit www.picturethecure.yolasite.com.