Danielle Roeder crowned Miss Missouri Little Sister
The Miss Missouri Pageant partnered with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in 2007, and since has raised money to help ill and injured children at hospitals across the U.S.
Each year, special bonds between Miss Missouri and the CMN patients are formed. Miss Missouri and the Outstanding Teens raise awareness and thousands of dollars in support of the young children.
This year's pageant welcomed to the stage – who Miss Missouri 2012 Shelby Steingraeber dubbed and crowned as the Outstanding Teen Miracle Princess – Arianna Rose Dougan of St. Louis.
Arianna, 7, was born with a rare form of childhood cancer, and since her diagnoses, has undergone 30 chemotherapy sessions, two bone marrow transplants and countless hospital stays.
Her hobbies include dancing, playing soccer and being a Girl Scout. Arianna is also very proud to announced her successful completion of the first grade. She also performed as a ballerina in the stage presentation of "The Nut Cracker."
"Arianna has a world of inspiration and provides perspective in what I do," Steingraeber said. "I call her my bubbly ray of sunshine."
Arianna was presented a crown, flowers and gift bag, and said "thank you."
Arianna's mother and grandmother – Lori and Marilyn Zucker of St. Louis – accompanied her to the pageant.
"She was so excited and started jumping up and down when she heard she was coming to see Shelby. She simply loves Shelby," Lori Zucker said of her daughter.
The Miss Missouri Pageant also invited former CMN patient Danielle Roeder, who at one point in her life, couldn't walk without assistance or talk. At an early age, Roeder began losing muscle control and the doctor's "were mystified."
Saturday, Roeder not only walked across the stage, she spoke to audience and took her grand walk on the runway. Roeder was crown Miss Missouri Little Sister and presented a gift package.
"It is a huge honor to talk with you and have you here," said 2012 Miss Missouri Sydney Friar. "To see you here is remarkable. Thank you for being here."
Roeder said, "all I ever wanted was to be a normal teenager. Thank you all for everything you do."