Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pageant Press: Sister inspires beauty contestant as she advocates lightning safety

I noticed this headline in the newsfeed in my sidebar yesterday, but didn't have time to check it out. Um... It's USA TODAY! When folks first learned of Ellen's platform, it received a lot of cyber chuckles, but it's getting national press, so who's laughing now?!

Sister inspires beauty contestant as she advocates lightning safety
By Bob Swanson

On June 13, 2000, Christina Bryan was winding down her workday at a golf course in Celina, Ohio. After waiting out a thunderstorm in the clubhouse, and as the sun re-emerged, she headed for the driving range to collect golf bag stands — her final task of the day — when a lightning bolt struck her and sent the then-17-year-old into cardiac arrest.

When paramedics arrived on the scene, they performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and saved Christina's life. But her brain had been deprived of oxygen for more than 10 minutes, resulting in significant physical disabilities. Nine years later, Christina is in a wheelchair, barely able to move her arms and head, and unable to speak.

Now her younger sister is doing the talking for her.

Ellen Bryan, 20, is competing this month for the title of Miss Ohio in the Miss America pageant system. The junior telecommunications major at Ball State University has chosen lightning-safety awareness as her platform.

She has adopted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's slogan: "When thunder roars, go indoors."

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article.


  1. Just heard that Ellen will be on Good Morning America sometime next week.

  2. I sang in high school choir with Ellen's sister, Christina. She was an amazing young woman - this was such a tragedy. I think it's fantastic that Ellen (also amazing and very sweet) has adopted this platform. It's something she knows and has lived for the past 9 years. Thanks for posting!

    ~ Katie (McMurray) Cable

  3. From Ball State University press release, Ellen is scheduled to appear on ABC'S Good Morning America July 2nd, barring any "bumps" from the program.


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