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Miss Camden County Getting Rid of Inflammatory Bowel Disease’s Stinky Stigma

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This Magnolia, NJ princess sits on the porcelain throne —  and she shares it with her more than 600 Facebook followers.

Sophia Vicari, 21, is Miss Camden County 2018 and the founder of The Princess Promise.

Sophia Vicari

(Image credit: Richard Krauss)

The Princess Promise, which produces positive and informative social media posts that empower women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), has kicked off its fundraising for the Philadelphia Take Steps Festival for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

“Between my symptoms and the diagnosis process, I certainly did not feel like a princess,” says Vicari, whose local title in the Miss America Organization has earned her a spot to compete for Miss New Jersey in June in Ocean City. “Thanks to the combination of Jesus and prednisone, I was able to find purpose with my new disease.”

Sophia Vicari

Image courtesy: Sophia Vicari

IBD affects 1.6 million Americans and is typically diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 35.  While every case of IBD is unique to the patient, Vicari’s experience included frequent bloody diarrhea and steroid enemas. Her posts range from informative accounts of her infusions to a Facebook live broadcast from a “gorgeous” bathroom in New York City.

Diagnosed on Dec. 27, 2016, Vicari has spent the past year redefining what it means to be a princess and rediscovering her femininity despite weight changes, bowel troubles, and less-than-glamorous treatments.

Every titleholder in the Miss America Organization has a platform, which they promote throughout their Year of Service, and Vicari has used her four-point crown to spread the word about The Princess Promise and all it stands for.  She’s also been making a difference right here in South Jersey, serving the community in various ways such as speaking at a women’s empowerment class and volunteering at Blackwood’s Unforgotten Haven.

Sophia Vicari

Image courtesy: Sophia Vicari

“You can be a princess that plays soccer, you can be a princess who spends her time in a chemistry lab—and you can be a princess who sits on a porcelain throne.  Femininity is no longer confined to one specific box.”  Vicari, who sports a pixie cut, wants all women to embrace what being a princess means to them.

Christine Kenny, a sophomore at Fairleigh Dickinson University where Vicari is a senior, also posts to The Princess Promise’s social media. “She’s tall, she’s an athlete, she has Crohn’s—we celebrate our differences and are therefore able to reach a broader audience.”  That broad audience includes women from France and Australia, proving just how much the world needs positivity.

Image courtesy: Sophia Vicari. Chrstine Kenny (left ) and Sophia Vicari (right) of The Princess Promise

What’s next for Vicari and The Princess Promise?  The Princess Promise will be participating in the 2018 Philadelphia Take Steps Festival on May 20 in Citizen’s Bank Park, which includes many vendors and a walk.  Vicari has already started fundraising; her goal is $2,000, double last year’s goal.  A few weeks post-festival is Miss New Jersey week, which will be Vicari’s first time competing for the state title. Whether she comes home with the crown, she is excited for the exposure the pageant will give The Princess Promise.

“I want this to be a resource for the newly diagnosed, for those who have been battling IBD for years and need a pick-me-up, and for those without IBD who need to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  We’re smiling, we’re thriving, we’re being princesses—and they can too.

About The Princess Promise:

The Princess Promise was created in 2017 to empower women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) with the promise that no matter what they experience, they are still princesses.  The Princess Promise is active on Facebook and Instagram.

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at age 20, founder Sophia Vicari ensures the content produced is positive but real—not wanting to sugarcoat experiences but desiring to show the world that your diagnosis is not a dream-stopper.

Sophia and Christine, who has Crohn’s Disease, post about their lives with IBD, including their treatment and triumphs in and out of the doctor’s office.  Additionally, Princess Promise is the platform of Miss Camden County 2018, Sophia Vicari, as she competes in the Miss America Organization.

The Princess Promise is also a team for the Philadelphia Take Steps Festival and is currently fundraising for the 2018 festival.

About Miss Camden County:

If you want Miss Camden County at your event or fundraiser, email vicarisophia@gmail.com.

Miss Camden County is an official preliminary to Miss New Jersey and Miss America, and service projects can range from public speaking to feeding the hungry and more.

Sophia Vicari

Image courtesy: Sophia Vicari

(Source: Media Release)

(Post updated 2/19/2018 6:20 p.m.)

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