This past weekend Chara McLaughen, our Chattanooga Hydrocephalus Association WALK Chair, received a message from the reigning Miss Tennessee Hayley Lewis with a personal invitation from the Governor of Tennessee to meet him and his wife. Governor Haslam became aware of Ema after watching a PSA that Hayley made about hydrocephalus after last year’s WALK.
“We were really honored to meet with Governor Haslam today and share with him Ema’s story. He was so shocked to hear that over 1 million people in the U.S. have hydrocephalus,” shared Hayley.
Since meeting Ema at the 2014 competition where she was crowned Miss Tennessee, Hayley has helped raise awareness about hydrocephalus by volunteering her time at local Hydrocephalus Association events with Ema at her side. But beyond public appearances, Hayley has made a friend in little Ema, who she meet after Ema underwent three brain surgeries for her hydrocephalus and who she supported in a recent hospital stay where it was suspected that Ema was in shunt failure. At the Miss Tennessee Outstanding Teen pageant this March, Hayley sang Lee Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance to Ema on stage and then crowned her an honorary Iris Princess with the current Miss Tennessee Outstanding Teen Lexie Perry.
“Ema was very excited to travel to the state capital to meet Governor Haslam and his wife. As her mom, it was so important for me to have the Governor take notice of the incurable brain condition my daughter will have to endure for the rest of her life. We were honored to educate the Governor about hydrocephalus and our community here in Tennessee,” stated Chara.
Hayley will be supporting our Chattanooga community at two more upcoming events. The KidzExpo this Saturday at the Chattanooga Convention Center where she will be in a photo booth hosted by the Hydrocephalus Association and the Chattanooga Lookouts baseball game on May 3rd where our Chattanooga kids will throw out the first pitch.
The Hydrocephalus Association would like to thank Hayley for all of her support for our entire Chattanooga hydrocephalus family.
Read about Hayley and Ema’s trip to meet the Governor in TheChattanoogan.com: Ema McLaughen Meets Governor And Mrs. Haslam