Positively Jax: Miss Clay County Teen’s platform brings attention to rare disease

Fleming Island’s Erica Carnegie is working to make a Positively Jax difference. (Courtesy: Chris Seetaram/Abiding Light Photography)

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – Clay County teen Erica Carnegie is working to make a Positively Jax difference by showcasing something that is very personal.

The Fleming Island 18-year-old is going to represent Clay County at the Miss Florida Teen USA competition in April.

Her platform is AVM. What’s that? Well, it’s a rare disease that creates a clump of blood vessels on the brain or elsewhere in the head. It’s very dangerous and can cause an aneurism, stroke or even death.

Erica had corrective surgery. After her personal experience, she wanted to find a way to let others know about the dangers.

So she became the first Youth Ambassador for The Aneurysm and AVM Foundation. She tells others about dealing with the physical pain and emotional trauma.

Despite all of that, she remained at the top of her high school class academically. In May of last year, she graduated high school at 17 years old and also graduated college with an Associate’s Degree.

Erica now attends Stetson University on an academic scholarship with plans to attend Law School after graduation.

After her corrective surgery, she started competing in pageants, which was always a dream. In four short years, she has won several state and national titles and, as I mentioned, is now competing for the title of Miss Florida Teen USA.

The winner of this pageant will compete for the national title of Miss Teen USA!!

Erica is a fighter and survivor who refuses to give up. And she is a mentor to several young girls who are new to pageantry and also to girls who feel they cannot compete because they look different.

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