My wonderful family, friends, and supporters:
I apparently have not gotten rid of the pageant bug : )
I have decided to compete for the title of Miss Massachusetts USA 2009.  Moving forward in making this decision comes from knowing the megaphone that the crown creates and the power it has to change lives.  Since my reign as Miss Massachusetts 2006 in the Miss America Program, I have been able to travel the country to educate about heart disease and heart health advocacy.  My work has included everything from being a bunk counselor at Camp Meridian, a camp for children with congenital heart defects, to speaking numerous times on Capitol Hill, to creating amazing friendships with many parents who have lost children to various heart conditions.  I have shared my personal story, shared my ideas, and shared many tears.
One of my best and most memorable Miss Massachusetts experience wasn’t walking across the Miss America stage.  It wasn’t having the TV camera in my face, filming a reality show, or the red carpet appearances.  My greatest experience was an email.  Yup, an email.  A lady had read a story written about me in USA Today, and she told me that she had a life-threatening heart condition as well.  She was told she needed an Implantable Cardi overter Defibrillator like my own, but she had not yet found the courage to go through with the surgery.  After reading my story, she decided that if Miss Massachusetts could do it, then she could too, and she made her surgery date.  She ended the email with, “Michaela, thank you for saving my life.”
It doesn’t get any better than that.
So I hope to move forward into another year of advocacy and being a role model with a new title.  I will be having a dinner and dessert fundraiser on Saturday, November 8th at 6:30-8:30pm to help defray the cost of the pageant’s entrance fee.  It will take place at Billy’s Cafe on 663 Bedford Street in Fall River, MA, and tickets are $10.  The meal will include shepherd’s pie and a pasta/spinach/ground sausage dish (my sister is cooking…she is amazing!).    
For those of you who are far away or unavailable to come, please send your positive energy and thoughts on November 22nd and 23rd when I take the stage to compete for the title of Miss Massachusetts USA.  My winning this title would qualify me for the Miss USA title (oh my gosh, and then Miss Universe!).  Okay, deep breath…one thing at a time…
Thank you all for the love and support you have given me!
All my heart,