The day Laryssa’s mom informed her about her grandmother’s diagnosis, her world shook. However, her grandmother’s determination to fight lit a fire in her heart. Today, only 8 percent of pancreatic cancer patients live more than 5 years after diagnosis. Laryssa’s determination to become Miss America is driven by the knowledge that the title provides a greater voice, and with it, Laryssa plans to raise awareness, funds, and more importantly, advocate for research to create a diagnostic technique for this silent killer. Miss America is the job of a lifetime and she looks forward to spending a year giving back and making a difference in countless lives.

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines delivered to your inbox each morning.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.