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Lindsay Mosher is proud to wear the title "Miss Incredible," a well-deserved and hard-earned title from a journey that hasn't always been easy.
Lindsay, now 27, was 2 years old when she became very ill. An episode of E. coli hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) resulted in kidney failure and brain damage.
"Lindsay is a miracle," said her mom, Rhonda. "We were told she would never walk or talk again, but her recovery has been remarkable."
Lindsay got sick in July 1990, and she spent July through September in the hospital. When she came home, she had a feeding tube because she was unable to eat by mouth, and could not walk or talk. She also experienced temporary blindness.
"But when she got home, things started coming together," Rhonda said. "By Thanksgiving, she was learning to walk again."
Though she understands a great deal, she speaks only in one- or two-word sentences and uses some sign language to communicate. But Lindsay has never let the obstacles she faces deter her optimism and joy.
"She is the happiest person in the world," Rhonda said. "Wherever she goes, whoever she meets, people just fall in love with her."
Kidney transplant needed
As Lindsay grew, her kidney function worsened. She became very thin, tired and nauseated. She had her kidney transplant, with her mother serving as her donor, at age 9.
"The transplant went so well," Rhonda said. "She felt so much better after her transplant. She's now doing so many things we never thought she'd be able to do."
Rhonda acknowledges not only the excellent medical care she and Lindsay received, but the overall care and concern as well.
"The medical team, including Dr. Hans Sollinger and pediatric transplant coordinator Beth Gerndt-Spaith, were so thorough. Nothing got by them," she said.
Since graduation, Lindsay has attended an in-home day care center, though she sees it more as her job.
"She loves going there," Rhonda said. "She helps out like an assistant would, and has even taught some of the children sign language."
Like many young women, Lindsay enjoys shopping, especially for shoes. She loves country music, boating, fishing and swimming. She's earned medals and ribbons as a gymnast in the Special Olympics, and has made many friends through her gymnastics program.
Miss RemarkAble Pageant
When Rhonda heard about the Miss RemarkAble Pageant happening in their hometown of Onalaska, Wis., she knew Lindsay would love it.
Lindsay applied and was accepted as one of nine contestants who would experience a one-of-a-kind opportunity to build life skills, confidence and share her abilities and accomplishments.
Lindsay practiced her introduction and prepared for the question-and-answer session, as well as walking across the stage and waving. She loved the wardrobe changes, getting her hair and make-up done and meeting Miss Wisconsin and Miss Onalaska.
Lindsay was crowned "Miss Incredible," in recognition of everything she has endured, and she proudly accepted her crown, sash and flowers.
Though Lindsay's journey hasn't been easy, her family never lost hope.
"When she was little and so sick, we really just took one day at a time," Rhonda said. "We never looked too far into the future, but did everything we could to support her and to keep a positive attitude."
Today, Lindsay and her family are happily looking into the future as they plan a baby shower for Lindsay's brother and wife. Lindsay is looking forward to being an aunt – and shopping for the family's newest addition.