Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Arlington, VA, March 02, 2024 — Mikell Reed Carroll, a 46-year-old wife and mom of two from Arlington, will be competing for the Miss Virginia USA crown.

Recently the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) announced the lifting of age restrictions, as well as previously having lifted restrictions on married, divorced, widowed and women with children from entering the competition.

Mrs. Reed Carroll learned of this rule change two weeks into her recovery from a groundbreaking hip surgery at Yale Medical and days after her 46th Birthday. Having competed at the State USA level 20 years previously, she decided she would love another chance to win a state crown and the chance to compete on the Miss USA stage.

In June of 2023, while living abroad in Serbia with her family and working at the U.S. Embassy there, Mikell learned she had a rare condition. She was told after an MRI that she had a condition called Avascular Necrosis or AVN in both of her hips.

Avascular Necrosis causes bone death and eventually joint collapse due to a lack of blood flow. Though the condition is not life-threatening, there is no cure. Commonly patients undergo full joint replacement or in the case of younger patients, a Core Decompression surgery. Both surgeries require months of recovery.

As a young active mom, Mikell of course says she was initially devastated by this diagnosis. After taking a few days to process the news and receiving a second opinion confirming her diagnosis and recommending Core Decompression within 4 to 8 weeks, Mikell knew she needed to take immediate action.

Having faced many challenges throughout her life, her tenacity kicked into gear and she immediately began researching her condition to see if any new or alternative treatments were available to possibly save her hips.

Upon thorough research, Mikell found that there was Dr.at Yale, also an engineer, that had developed a groundbreaking surgery for patients with AVN. The surgery combined a more targeted core decompression, by utilizing 3D modeling technology as well as using stem cells and bone graft from the patient to implant into the dead bone to help stimulate new bone growth.

Mikell immediately looked up the contact information for the Doctor at Yale and emailed him her story, pleading for his help. She didn’t expect an answer, but much to her surprise, just two days later had a positive reply and an appointment at Yale with Dr. Daniel Wiznia, the creator of this groundbreaking surgery.

Mikell learned she was a candidate for this procedure and in September of 2023 underwent her first hip surgery, with the second taking place in January of 2024.

Both surgeries seem successful and Mikell is optimistic about her future. Her optimism she says is in part due to the personal inspiration she finds through pageants.

Mikell is no stranger to pageant competition and has been involved in the industry for over 26 years; having held state, national and international titles and even having helped coach other women to win.

She says she has stayed involved for so long due to the personal growth and lifelong friendships she has developed through pageants.

She says competing on the prestigious Miss Virginia USA stage is the inspiration she has needed to help her through her recovery and to regain confidence in herself and her abilities.

She is working closely with her surgical and physical therapy team to safely train for the upcoming pageant, which will be held in Arlington, Virginia June 21- 23, 2024.

She hopes her journey to the crown and courage to compete will help inspire other women and girls who may be facing challenges in their own lives to see that on the other side of adversity there can be strength and beauty and to always believe “The best is yet to come. “

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