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Taking a stand for invisible illnesses

Roxanne Wang from Sheffield was crowned Miss Crystal Queen and Westville’s Angela Duke took home the title of Miss Crystal Princess.

The ‘invisible crown’ now worn by Colleen Simon from the Bluff represents the millions of people suffering from illnesses that often go unnoticed because they cannot be seen.

The Crystal Princess pageant was held at Sound Cafe in Ballito on Saturday evening, to showcase seven young women who have been giving people with invisible illnesses support through charity work.

Roxanne Wang from Sheffield was crowned Miss Crystal Queen and Westville’s Angela Duke took home the title of Miss Crystal Princess.

Colleen Simon walked away with the invisible crown.

Organiser Leanda Talbot said there were many diseases that went unnoticed and that the event was not a beauty pageant but rather a platform for young women who truly make a difference through charity work and by organising parties for ill children through the Crystal Princess project.

“When I first started working with people I realised that many suffer from illnesses concerning mental health, epilepsy or even diabetes. Just because people cannot see them, does not mean that they do not exist.

“People affected by them, often do not have support.”

Compère and reigning Mrs Dolphin Coast Charmaine Talbot said she hoped to hold more events that would create awareness.

“There is a lot of pain and suffering that goes with a chronic condition or illness. People do not want to advertise to their friends and family just how hard it is, nor do they want pity from others. It is just difficult.”

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