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The Road to Miss New Jersey – Miss South Shore – Fiona DiGennaro

As we continue our “Road to Miss New Jersey” series, our next contestant is Miss South Shore, Fiona DiGennaro.

Please tell us why you chose to compete for your local county’s title?
The title of Miss South Shore is an open pageant, essentially meaning any woman living, working, or going to school in New Jersey is eligible to compete. While I am a Monmouth County native, the “Shore” pageant is close to my heart. It was my very first pageant experience that was with the Shore family, so I deem it only fitting that I carry out this title during my last year of eligibility.

What do you plan to accomplish if you were to win the title of Miss New Jersey 2016?
This organization has brought two loves into my life:  the Children’s Miracle Network and my platform- Melanoma Know More: Awareness and Prevention. I’ve become a local ambassador for CMN and it has been a wonderful journey so far. As Miss New Jersey, I’d like to coordinate with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the state and spread the message and the mission of CMN by putting my marketing and advertising skills to use.  As far as my platform, I intend to get lawmakers to address the epidemic that we face. We need to make law that there be more shade structures in our communities, more information in our health curriculum, and more trained nurses in schools to screen for melanoma. The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey just released that NJ has higher rates of melanoma than other states. As Miss New Jersey, I would have a heightened sense of visibility and the opportunity to take my work on this issue to the next level.

Share with our readers a bit more about your platform and why you picked this particular one.
My mother is the inspiration behind my platform. In December of 2010, she was diagnosed with the rare condition of ocular melanoma. Obviously, the news was a terrible blow, but my family joined together to overcome the adversity that had come upon us. The journey was–and still is–daunting. However, I’ve learned a lot from it, and I want to share so that others will benefit.  It is my great hope that through persistence, I will not only raise awareness of melanoma, but I will help to change the social norms of tanning, which is the biggest cause of this disease. In case you did not know, melanoma, if not caught early, is a skin cancer that can take the life of its victim within a year.  Currently, it is the #1 cause of cancer death in women ages 25-30, but there is good news. Melanoma is very preventable through awareness and simple behaviors.  It is also very treatable if caught early.  This is why our House of Representatives has passed the Sunscreen Innovation Act and why our acting Surgeon General announced a nationwide call to action on skin cancer prevention. This is why I choose to raise awareness as well.

“Bravura” is an artistic word for exceptional; in your own words, tell us what makes you ‘bravura’!
Passion, probity, and perseverance are attributes that I have acquired that have gotten me to this place in my life. I believe that the many trials I have faced in life and where I stand today in spite of these obstacles is what makes me exceptional.

To purchase tickets for the upcoming Miss New Jersey pageant, please visit THIS LINK.