Interview by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination by Joyce Crane | Photography by Dawn Brosie & Kelly Averett Texas
The Nomination: Lily is profoundly deaf but has not let that stop her from accomplishing anything. She is a great basketball player, barrel racer, and has won numerous pageants (current title is Miss Rodeo for a Reason 2019). We were told she would never talk, she talks pretty clearly and she “hears” by reading lips. She does not want to be treated any different that anyone else. She is absolutely beautiful but has not clue, is extremely funny and outgoing, and has a huge heart. She’s pretty much perfect.
Image Taken By Coach
1. Tell me about your illness and how you deal with it throughout everyday life.
I try not to let my disability effect my life. I play basketball, I ride horses and barrel race, I compete in pageants, and I work as a host at a restaurant! I wear hearing aids which helps me hear loud noises so I am not in complete silence when they are on, however I do turn them off a lot because silence isn't always bad. =) This is the life God blessed me with and I don't know anything different so I can't really complain.
2. What was competing in Miss Rodeo for a Reason like and how was it winning the pageant?
Competing in the Miss Rodeo for a Reason pageant was probably my best life experience to date! I was first picked to be in the top 10 and then we all traveled to Vegas during the NFR to compete in different challenges. We had to do impromptu interviews with vendors, make runway outfits out of feedbags, etc. I made 10 friends for life and was completing shocked when I won because the other girls were all so perfect! Truly an honor to be apart of such a great team of people!
Was it difficult learning how to read lips?
I really have been doing it for longer then I can even remember. I do know when I was in kindergarten they had interpreters there signing for me but I didn't want to watch them. I wanted to watch the teachers lips. I think I have been practicing it so long it just seems natural. I only really have difficulty when men have beards or people are mumblers and don't move lips a lot!
What advice would you give a child who is dealing with the same disability as you?
You can do anything you set your mind to do, just try it. It might be hard but trying is worth it in the end. Don't worry about what other people think or say about you, their opinion doesn't matter. You are who you are because God made you that way and wanted you that way so love yourself!
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to go to college, major in equine science and live on a farm with my horses. I would like to have a rescue farm for horses and dogs and eventually have clinics for disabled kids to come and ride!
Lily will be published in Issue 16, scheduled to be released 3.1.2019