Hays woman to compete in Mrs. America pageant

THE OTTAWA CITIZEN | Kaley Conner


A Hays woman is preparing for a trip to Las Vegas, where she will represent the state of Kansas in competing for the title of Mrs. America.

Cassie Hickel was crowned Mrs. Kansas America last month in a pageant in the small town of Chillicothe, Mo. She will take her platform of organ donation to the national stage for the Aug. 26 pageant in the Nevada city.

Hickel, who never had competed in pageants previously, said it was her desire to advocate for organ donation — specifically living kidney donation — that led her to pursue the crown.

“In a way, I was really surprised that I won,” she said. “But at the same time, I knew going into it that any title I would receive or any recognition I would receive in response to my kidney donation would be completely God-related.”

The Hays mother of three donated a kidney in December after testing as a match for an Iowa man suffering from a hereditary kidney disease. She met her kidney recipient — Rich Klim — one day prior to surgery, but had become aware of his need through a posting on social media, she told The Hays Daily News in December. Continue reading

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