First Physically Disabled Miss South Carolina Teen USA Pageant T - DatelineCarolina

First Physically Disabled Miss South Carolina Teen USA Pageant Takes the Stage

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Morton says there are pageant opportunities specifically for individuals with disabilities. However, Morton wanted to bring something new to the Miss South Carolina Teen USA stage. Morton says there are pageant opportunities specifically for individuals with disabilities. However, Morton wanted to bring something new to the Miss South Carolina Teen USA stage.
When Morton practices for the pageant she likes to call her pageant walk the "pageant roll." She is honored to bring a new form of beauty to the stage. When Morton practices for the pageant she likes to call her pageant walk the "pageant roll." She is honored to bring a new form of beauty to the stage.
Morton channels her inner-Beyonce when she practices for her big day at Miss SC Teen USA. She met Beyonce after Make-A-Wish granted her with the opportunity of a lifetime. Morton channels her inner-Beyonce when she practices for her big day at Miss SC Teen USA. She met Beyonce after Make-A-Wish granted her with the opportunity of a lifetime.

By Sophie Keyes

Dozens of young women are preparing to compete for the Miss South Carolina Teen USA title. The Miss USA Organization has been around for over 60 years, but out of the thousands of women who have walked the runway, there has never been a contestant in a wheelchair.

Nila Morton will be the first wheelchair user to grace the Miss South Carolina Teen USA stage. She is the reigning Miss Mauldin Teen USA, and she believes she has been called to do this pageant.

"I decided to do this to show that beauty comes in all different shapes and forms, and that my disability doesn't define who I am as a person," Morton said.

Morton has been using a wheelchair since she was ten years old. She was diagnosed with Ulrich Muscular Dystrophy, which is one of the rarest forms of M.D. Only 96 people in the world have the disease, and Morton is the only one in South Carolina to have it.

"I have been through some challenges, like with sickness because at one point they said I was going to die. They didn't know what was wrong, but I overcame that," Morton said.

One of Morton's biggest inspirations when preparing for her big day is listening to "Formation" by Beyonce. Because her condition is so rare, Make-A-Wish granted her with the chance to meet her idol. She keeps a picture of her with Queen Bey in her room.

"I'm going to put that in my head, so I won't be as nervous. So, I can slay because I always slay when I hear that song," Morton said.

Morton does not let her disability stop her from pursuing a dream she never knew would be possible. She says the sash she wears for her appearances represents the change she is making. She hopes her story will inspire more young women in wheelchairs to go out and "slay." 

Miss South Carolina Teen USA will be held in Charleston at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center November 18-19.

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