Pageants provide outlet amid dad’s cancer, death
Lauren Lysne, 18, is the first person to tell you that she’s the biggest “girly girl” there is.
She loves manicures and pedicures, facials and getting her hair done. And it shows: The beautiful Ferris High School senior is Miss Idaho High School America, and in March she was first runner-up at Miss High School America in San Antonio.
“I felt like the red Ferrari in the Easter parade,” said Lysne about wearing a stunning red ball gown at the Texas pageant. “They advise you against wearing red because it makes you look too old.”
And stand out she does, among many other things this year as Ferris High School’s notable student.
“That’s a great honor,” Lysne said, smiling.
But over the past six years, the one thing that’s filled most of Lysne’s life is her father Larry Lysne’s battle with cancer – a battle he lost the morning of May 14.
“I am at peace with him passing, and though I miss him so, so much, I’m glad he’s no longer in pain,” Lysne said.
The family knew nothing more could be done to treat Larry Lysne’s cancer. He was in a wheelchair toward the end of his life.
Lysne said especially the last two years have been difficult because her dad slowly lost mobility and the ability to do many of the things he used to love to do.
She said many of her friends probably don’t realize what she’s been dealing with, and that the most difficult thing about her dad’s cancer has been explaining to people what’s going on.
“Things get so emotional. You just have to be so strong,” said Lysne, trailing off. “It’s a horrible thing to deal with, but I’ll be a stronger person because of it.”
A dancer since she was young, Lysne said pageants have been something to look forward to, something that would let her forget for a few moments the sorrow life had dealt her.
“The family of someone dying from cancer really is the silent victims of the whole thing,” Lysne said.
Yet she carries on. When she’s not prepping for pageants or doing homework, Lysne said she’s a homebody. She likes to hang out with her family, her brother Ryan Lysne and mom Shannon Lysne.
“Pageantry is actually hard, and it’s very different from just modeling,” said Lysne. “Pageantry is about being that well-rounded, all-American girl. It’s not just about being skinny.”
Winning the pageants has already let Lysne put away half the tuition toward a four-year degree.
“Science is my favorite subject in school, that and human biology,” said Lysne. “I would love to be a nurse.”
She is going to continue with pageants for a while but has no plans of pursuing a modeling career. She’s headed to college.
And of course she wishes her dad could see her graduate from high school.
“But I know he is still very proud of me,” Lysne said. “He’ll be there in a way because he will be with me forever.”