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Introducing Mrs. Colorado American 2021

Corrie Francis, otherwise known as Mrs. Colorado American 2021, accurately embodies the season of thanks through an uplifting story of family, struggle, and victory. 

Corrie’s dedication to bringing awareness to frontotemporal dementia didn’t arise at random. Her family was impacted by FTD with her father’s diagnosis just over 12 years ago, which ignited her passion to help others fight their own battles with the crippling brain disease. Helping others through their own medical journeys inevitably led Corrie to realize that it doesn’t only impact the diagnosed, but their surrounding family members as well. “Seeing your family affected by such a really shakes you to the core.”

After realizing how important it was to take it upon herself and help in her own way, Corrie began to share her family’s story, letting others know what it’s like to experience the heartbreak of watching a loved one ward off terminal illness. Since many people aren’t sure how to respond when a family member, significant other, or close friend receives a terminal diagnosis, Corrie does what she can to quell that confusion: “They tend to step away, rather than be supportive. The smallest actions don’t only help the patient, but they immensely support the surrounding family as well.” Due to experiences such as these, Corrie strives to help others understand what they can do to help a family or person affected by terminal illness. 

In fact, Corrie’s plunge into the world of pageantry was sparked during her teenage years. After her cousin was tragically diagnosed with cancer, she was soon connected to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Out of all the wishes she could’ve requested, Corrie’s cousin simply wanted to see her family. The foundation granted her wish and flew Corrie’s family out from Indiana to Seattle for some familial comfort, where they spent several days at her side. Although she was unconscious during the visit, Corrie believes her cousin was aware of their presence. 

Being deeply affected by the support provided by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Corrie began granting her own wishes through the organization upon becoming a mother. She then went even further to support different fundraising events put on by Make-A-Wish: annual golf tournaments, community walks, and galas are just a few examples. Corrie formed a knack for driving fundraising events for people to attend, participate in, or donate to - most notably through Make-A-Wish. Francis also participated in Colorado’s first Walk for Wishes in Hudson Gardens, which raised an unprecedented sum of funding. 

Furthermore, Francis is active within the organization HopeKids of Colorado, which poses a similar approach to Make-A-Wish in bringing joy to children facing life-threatening illnesses. However, the organization differentiates its approach with continuous monthly events rather than a single act of giving. These monthly events range from private movie premiers to local Rockies MLB games, birthday shopping, and much more. The siblings and parents of affected children are welcome to attend these charitable affairs which take place throughout Denver and Colorado Springs. Corrie works with HopeKids of Colorado to provide relief from daily medical treatments on a continuous basis, so as to maintain hope by providing recurring entertainment to the children who need it most. 

Another organization which Francis loyally supports is Project Angel Heart. At its core, it’s a “Meals on Wheels” for those with a life-threatening diagnosis, though with a heartwarming twist. The organization delivers medically-altered meals to feed the sick and their families while accommodating their illness-induced food restrictions. Since certain ingredients can affect treatment, and cancer patients experience dampened taste buds, the group works to cook meals with specific needs and taste in mind. Project Angel Heart delivers these meals on a weekly basis to any child in need, no matter their income, employment status, or diagnosis. They currently cater to the Denver Metro and Colorado Springs areas and serve over 60 routes through volunteers who cook, package, and deliver each meal personally.  

Despite her many professional accolades, Corrie hosts a series of memories reflective of a truly fulfilling life. An example of this is her almost cinematic love story, which began with a trip to Mexico alongside some old friends. She soon noticed who would turn out to be her future husband, Greg. After hitting it off and going back to their homes in Arizona and Colorado at the time, the two became loyal pen pals, with Corrie sending him a love letter a year after their introduction. She never heard back, assuming his disinterest - until he called. It took him two years to call due to a slight mail slip-up; apparently, the letter had been misplaced by his roommate. 

The happy 17-year couple are now parents to two active children, Greg and Alivia, who fill their time with motocross and school. In fact, her daughter is currently ranked 79th in the state for 50cc riders as the only girl in the top 10 rankings. 

The dedication which Corrie Francis holds towards the fight against terminal illness is a fitting reflection of this season’s generous, uplifting atmosphere. Her final national competition will take place on November 19th of this year, which will be her fourth national pageant. Her message to young pageantry participants is to exercise steadfast persistence. Francis began competing on and off at the age of 15, and after six years of competing for the Mrs. Colorado American title, she claimed her victory. It’s a pure example of the sweetest victories resulting from unwavering determination. Learn more about Corrie, her story, and her journey through pageantry and terminal illness by visiting the Mrs. Colorado American website and browsing her profile.