Cure Arthritis Ambassador Angie Irvin is more than just a pretty face. Crowned Mrs. Gulf States International 2017, she has dedicated her pageantry platform to advocating for arthritis awareness and research.
Angie can remember feeling pain related to her arthritis since she was 4 years old. In her 20’s, Angie sustained serious injuries from both a snow-skiing accident and a major car crash, which only exacerbated her illnesses and caused new ones to form. It wasn’t until she was in her 30s that she was given any diagnoses related to arthritis. Among her diagnoses were rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic spinal osteoarthritis, cervical spondylosis, lumbar radiculopathy, degenerative disc disease, and lumbar L5S1 disc herniation. Through years of pain and unanswered questions, Angie knew she had to share her story to make a difference.
Although she initially never imagined competing in pageants herself, Angie was a judge for beauty pageants for years. She entered her first pageant at the age of 47 and it took off from there. From winning “Most Photogenic” to the U.S. United National Cover Model, Angie was sweeping up prestigious titles, all while spreading her passion of educating others on chronic pain. She encountered a whirlwind of personal and familial health-related obstacles through her competition years and considered quitting. However, words and inspiration from her late mother gave her the ultimate push to accept her newly anointed title of Mrs. Gulf States International 2017. “She always told me to do what my heart led me to do, to never let anyone else make me think that I was too old, too sick, etc., to live out my dreams.” Angie reflects.
This year, a new fire is ignited in Angie as she vows to honor her struggles and push for arthritis awareness through her newest pageantry platform, dubbed “All FLARED Up”. “All FLARED Up” is an acronym for the purpose behind Angie’s work:
Life with arthritis
Whether Angie Irvin is speaking to students, to adult groups, or underneath the bright lights of a national stage, she strives to educate the public on what it’s like to live with arthritis and how to make a difference. “Being able to have the strength to share my arthritis journey with so many others as a Cure Arthritis Ambassador and as Mrs. Gulf States International 2017 this year, are achievements that I could only dream of.”
As a Cure Arthritis Ambassador, Angie Irvin plans to share her story, to teach, to encourage, and to empathize. Fundraising is a high priority to her, but she knows she cannot do it without the help of other supporters and grant-funded scientists willing to use their cutting edge ideas to help find a cure.
“I am awed by the work that they do, as they use innovated research methods searching for treatments and cures for arthritis.” When Angie isn’t planning events and speaking on stage, she can be found advocating for awareness on Twitter and Instagram.
We look forward to continuing the search for a cure with Angie Irvin’s help. You can join us by making a donation today!