My name is Emilia Dalton, I am the current Ms New Zealand United Nation International 2015 and I’m a proud IBD’er! In October 2015 I will be representing my beautiful country in the World Finals in Jamaica! I am committed to making the most of my title, and the exposure it brings to a worldwide audience, to heavily promote awareness of the everyday effects and battles of this dreadful disease.

I was diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis 5 years ago.  At first it was really hard to accept, as a matter of fact I was in denial for a long time, my world collapsed, I was lost!  Anger, frustration, helplessness, loneliness, isolation, worthless.... just to name a few of my emotions and feelings along with trying to cope with the physical aspects of it, which I am sure most of you are able to relate to! 

Not only am I a beauty queen at the age of 41 but I am also an International Nail Artist and Master Educator, I am a single mother of 2 beautiful daughters. Apart from running my home based business and raising my daughters on my own as UC has had a personal cost to me, my previously happy marriage was affected by it last year! It concerns me that it’s not only the IBD sufferer that undergoes stress but the ripples flow out into the immediate family!

I’d love to give back and support especially the IBD kids that don’t have the life skills to cope with their diagnoses and their every day struggles of living with this disease.  I have taken it upon myself to organise, at this stage, 2 fundraisers to support the annual Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis NZ Annual children’s camp. I hope to alleviate some of the stress that these children and their families experience. I also run a Facebook support group called; IBD NZ Support Buddies! Currently we are about 229 members strong and growing! All members can access the forum any time of the day and night for support from other members experiencing the same issues. Whether it be accessing information on how to deal with particular issues but also provide a shoulder to cry on or just emotional support. Living with IBD is not easy – but hopefully I’m providing a service to make it easier on all involved.

I’m happy to report that UC will not make a victim out of me! I am a fighter, I am a survivor and I refuse to give up! I am stronger than UC!! I can finally say I am blessed to have IBD along with Diverticulitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and vitiligo!  Often my days are long and fatigue sets in but life is for living, taking chances and living life to the fullest! Stay Strong! Emilia xx (Ms New Zealand United Nation International 2015 Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EmiliaDalton15)

Find out more about IBD NZ Support Buddies! 

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