The moment that I was announced as the new Miss North Dakota International 2012, time stood still. I had completely forgotten what I was supposed to do if you won! There were so many thoughts going through my mind at that moment. I was so overwhelmed with emotion, it was a wonderful feeling. You see, when I was only in the 6th grade Miss North Dakota came to our school and talked about following your dreams. From that moment on, my dream was to be a positive role model and be Miss North Dakota. This wasn’t my fist pageant, I had competed in a couple others and had disappointment when I didn’t win, but I didn’t let that stop me from pursuing my dreams. I got back up from that disappointment and kept trying. So, when my name was announced that night of December 3rd on that stage, it will be a moment I will never forget; it’s the moment my dream came true.
My name is Erica Lemna and I grew up in a small town called Enderlin, North Dakota. If you don’t know me, you may think I grew up in a normal family but I didn’t. When I was only 10 years only, my mom was diagnosed with a horrible disease called ALS or better known as Lou Gehrig ’s disease. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Patients with ALS eventually become paralyzed and die usually due to respiratory issues. My mom was only given 2-5 years to live, and I can happily say that almost 13 years later she is still here with us today! ALS has affected my life immensely and not only me but my entire family.
I have supported the ALS association for many years by participating in ALS walks and support groups with my mom. My platform is ALS Awareness and with my title I plan to raise awareness throughout our state and help raise money for families across our state. I know firsthand how ALS affects a family and I want to help other families in our state.
Currently, I am a college student majoring in nursing. I will graduate in May 2013 with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I am a member of the Alpha Theta Chapter Delta Gamma. I do a lot of volunteering across my community. When I am not studying or volunteering I love to hang out with my friends, ride 4-wheeler with my brother, snowboard, listen to country music, and hang out with my family!
I am so excited to be the new Miss North Dakota International 2012! I know that I will make our state proud. I am very excited to see the opportunities this year will bring. I am most importantly excited to see the changes I can make for the ALS Association!
Miss ND International 2012