Local News

Asheville woman in wheelchair eyes Miss North Carolina title

Posted November 8, 2019 5:52 p.m. EST
Updated November 9, 2019 12:52 p.m. EST

— A Miss North Carolina contestant hopes to take home the crown at the Miss North Carolina USA pageant this weekend, being the first Miss North Carolina in a wheelchair.

Madeline Delp won the title of Miss Wheelchair USA in 2017 and has set her sights on winning Miss North Carolina.

A truck hit Delp and her mother in 2004 when they were in a car, crushing Delp’s spine and leaving her paralyzed.

Delp always loved the movie Miss Congeniality, but didn’t think she would be able to be in a pageant like that.

“The belief that I wasn’t pretty enough to get up on a stage like Sandra further compounded. I suffered from depression and anxiety for years,” said Delp in an interview with Glamour published on Nov. 7.

When Delp was in her late teens, she decided to enter the Miss Wheelchair pageant and wound up winning.

“I went from being this incredibly shy girl who would never in a million years think she could get up and speak to people to doing it on a weekly basis. I hadn’t known that was inside of me,” she said.

Delp discovered more within pageants. It wasn’t all about beauty, but a chance to become better, connect with others, and share a light to help someone else.

Last year, Delp entered Miss North Carolina USA and was the first woman to ever compete in a wheelchair in that pageant and made the top 15.

She’s coming back determined to win Miss North Carolina USA and advance to Miss USA.

“I will be the first girl in a wheelchair to ever make it to that stage. And if I don’t win this year, it’s my full intention to go back next year and give it another try. I’m in it to win it.”

The Miss North Carolina USA competition takes place Friday through Saturday.

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