- (Photo: Facebook/Allyn Rose)
Miss America 2013 contestant Allyn Rose has become an early favorite among spectators of the annual beauty pageant since it was revealed that the Maryland resident will be undergoing a double mastectomy once the competition concludes this Saturday.
Rose, 24, and the current Miss District of Columbia, is having both of her breasts removed as a preventative measure in light of her mother, grandmother and great aunt having died from the disease.
Telling The Associated Press that it was her father who first inspired her to consider surgery, Rose admitted that she was initially wary about altering her physical appearance.
"My mom would have given up every part of her body to be here for me, to watch me in the pageant," Rose told the AP. "If there's something that I can do to be proactive, it might hurt my body, it might hurt my physical beauty, but I'm going to be alive."
While one observer found Rose's revelation "suspicious" and possibly a means of attracting "sympathy votes" just two days before the popular Miss America Pageant, others found her confession encouraging.
"Wow. Very courageous and a smart idea," wrote one reader.
Another addressed the chance the young cancer breast cancer advocate and former 2011 Miss America contestant was taking by sharing her plans for surgery.
"She may very well be hurting her chance of becoming Miss America by the announcement. It's very courageous and honest of her," the reader wrote.
Many who have read Rose's story have been flocking to her Facebook page to thank her for her courage and to share their own personal stories about cancer survival.
"So excited to be here at Miss America," the Maryland native told supporters. "Thank you all for the kind words and advice leading up to the competition. I truly hope to make you all proud!"
If Rose wins the Miss America 2013 crown Saturday night, the 24-year-old Miss DC "could become the first Miss America not endowed with the Barbie silhouette associated with beauty queens," according to The Associated Press.
Rose, who placed in the Top 8 overall in the 2011 Miss USA pageant, is also a model and actress. At the age of 16, when she lost her mother to breast cancer, she teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Tigerlily Foundation and others, to teach young people about the deadly disease.
The Miss America pageant, held in Las Vegas, airs Saturday, Jan. 12 at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.