Miss New Hampshire USA: Thriving After Loss
Posted on March 24, 2015, 2:59 AM
There aren’t many 23-year-olds who can tell you how important it is to get screened for colon cancer. For Miss New Hampshire USA, Samantha Poirier, it’s one of her top priorities. “It’s so important to be screened and to stay on top of your health, because colon cancer is preventable.”
At the age of nine, Samantha first heard the words “colon cancer” when her dad was diagnosed at age 39, after finding blood in his stool. “It was a shock to our family. My dad, Stephen, was one of the healthiest and fittest men you could ever meet,” she said. After surgery and treatment, Samantha remembers a very quiet conversation with her parents as they told her and her sister Stephanie just how sick their dad was. Stephen Poirier passed away shortly after.
Samantha remembers her mother, Suzanne, being her biggest support system after the loss of her father, calling her an inspiration. “My mom is one of the most amazing and strongest people I have ever known. She helped my sister and I get through the loss of my father and showed us how to be strong and carry on,” she said. One of the reasons Samantha continues to share her father’s story is because she knows that cancer affects more than just the person diagnosed. She wants other people to know that even through devastation and heartbreak, there is life.
To help keep her father’s memory alive, Samantha has volunteered and worked with several cancer organizations, sharing her story. She also lives by example practicing prevention by staying fit, eating healthy and going in for colonoscopies due to her family history. Her advice to anyone with questions about their health is to, “Always voice your concerns about your health or family background, even if it’s something minor, just ask. It’s so easy to stay on top of your health, and if one colonoscopy could save your life, don’t hesitate to do it.”
“My father always told me that he didn’t want me to just survive in life, he wanted me to thrive” Samantha said. She lives by these words and continues to chase all of her dreams. One of those dreams was to win Miss New Hampshire USA; a dream she accomplished in 2015 after five years of hard work. This year she will go on to compete in Miss USA. She is truly thriving.
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