A former Tennessee pageant contestant with a number of health problems due to a benign brain tumor is trying to get back on stage.
Alli-Grace Gilstrap, 16, of Blount County was named Junior Miss Fairest at the Tennessee Valley Fair in 2015.
“When my name got called to be junior Fairest of the Fair I was ecstatic,” Gilstrap said. “I honestly thought there was like a mistake or something.”
Gilstrap has spent her entire summer at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to receive treatments.
“It’s just hard to watch your children when they’ve just been vibrant their whole life,” said Gilstrap’s mom Lora Kirby. “To see them go from that to a very, small fragile person.”
While Gilstrap’s pageant dreams are on hold for now, she plans on getting back on stage as an advocate for the health and wellness of children. Gilstrap said she wants to use her pageant experience as a platform for the benefit of others.
Gilstrap also posts about her journey on her Alli-Grace Updates Facebook page.