by Lyndsea Burke:
USA National Miss Indiana
As a child, Lyndsea Burke watched televised pageants with her Aunt Jodie and shared with her the dream of competing in pageants herself one day. Jodie talked about the importance of service and inspired Lyndsea to always stand-up for and help others. Her aunt was her friend, role model and biggest cheerleader.
But behind the scenes, Jodie was living with obesity and various obesity-related conditions. Lyndsea remembers the mean comments, laughs and stares that were so often directed at her because of her size. Eventually, that judgement and stigma took a toll on Jodie’s life as the shame and guilt worsened her health. It was a common cold that eventually took her life. A cold that Jodie couldn’t fight because of her weight-related conditions that went unaddressed.
Standing with NOCW2018
Jodie’s passing crashed Lyndsea’s world. But ultimately, with Jodie in memory, she fulfilled her dream of entering the Miss America Organization to represent Indiana. Her service platform became fighting the stigma associated with obesity so all of those affected by it can find the respect, resources and healthcare they deserve.
Now, Lyndsea is proudly supporting the efforts of National Obesity Care Week (NOCW) 2018 alongside OAC to change the way we care about obesity. She continues to act in Jodie’s honor and raise awareness of weight bias and its devastating impact.
Listen to Lyndsea’s story below, and please join her in support of NOCW2018 by taking the official campaign pledge! You can learn more about NOCW2018 at ObesityCareWeek.org.