Face of Foothills 2019 Finalist: Kiki Elin

Name: Kiki Elin

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Age: 28

Title: Face of Foothills 2019 Finalist. Model. Social-Media Influencer. Chronic Illness Overcomer!

City you live in: Mesa

A typical day in my life includes…

studying! I am currently taking online classes to complete my bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies. Through my experiences overcoming a chronic illness, I was humbled to discover how spiritual and emotional health are just as vital to well-being as physical health. With my degree, I hope to lead a ministry for people with chronic illness disabilities. Through modeling on Instagram, I am blessed to connect with others dealing with chronic illnesses. Everyday, I love to write messages of joy and hope to shine on the darkness of a chronic illness.

I was born…

with a visual mind. From a young age, I displayed my toys in a certain way pleasing to the eye. Proud of my “set-ups,” I asked my mom to take pictures of me with my creations. I dressed and posed in a way to match the theme of my set-up. There are many childhood photos of me modeling with my toys!

My favorite thing about Arizona…

is the heat! I grew up in the Midwest and visited Arizona on winter breaks. I loved the bright sun and swimming in the “warm” weather. After living in Arizona for eight years, I am freezing during the 60-degree winters and look forward to the 100-degree summers!

I’m listening to…

Lauren Daigle’s album, “Look Up Child.” It’s so inspiring and full of truths:

“You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing. You say I am strong when I think I am weak. You say I am held when I am falling short. When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours”

My family…

is big and loving! My parents, five siblings, and five nieces bless me with immense love and great support. Especially when I was sick, my parents supported me, acting as my caregivers and providing for me. I would not be where I am today without them!

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Christine Caine, an activist against human trafficking. She helps free girls, boys, women, and men out of modern-day slavery through her A21 Campaign. I am inspired by her persistence to make a difference in this world, even when she was told it was impossible!

One thing I cannot live without…

is my church family. My sisters in Christ are wise, loyal, and kind. Being in a supportive and encouraging community with other strong women in my church empowers and inspires me to achieve my dreams!

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

an interior designer. I frequently moved my furniture around to make sure my space was picture-perfect. I still do this! I completed my associate’s degree in interior design in 2015.

I’m inspired by…

Madeline Stuart @madelinesmodelling_, the world’s first professional super model who has Down’s Syndrome. I am inspired by her breaking barriers in the modeling industry while advocating for people with disabilities.

The one person who motivates me is…

my best friend, Catherine! Her listening ear and encouraging words motivates me to keep moving forward. She accepted and cared for me when I experienced anxiety. She is fun, joyful, and down-to-earth. I love her so much!

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

justice in the health care system. Too many people are undiagnosed and untreated. Their suffering is further insulted when certain hospitals and clinics refuse to treat patients with a stigmatized illness, such as chronic Lyme disease. Although hundreds of thousands are left debilitated by Lyme, the U.S. government does not recognize it as a disabling condition. My heart goes out to all people suffering from chronic illness disabilities, and I will not leave this earth until something is changed! Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said,

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and the most inhumane because it often results in physical death.” People are unnecessarily suffering and dying because of this discrimination in the health care system. Most of them are too sick to stand up to this injustice, so it is my life’s mission to fight it for them!

The perfect day would be…

spent with my loved ones. Overcoming a chronic illness taught me how important people and relationships are. A person’s worth is not measured by their success. Even if a person was not able to do anything, they are still worthy of love because they are human! My perfect day would be one where I can show my love for my family, friends, and boyfriend by spending time and enjoying life with them.

My first job was…

babysitting! Children bring joy to my life, especially my nieces!

My favorite escape…

is the beach! The sun, fresh air, saltwater, and grounding properties are healing! I can not help but feel infinitely blessed and humbled while gazing over the vast ocean.

My life…

is amazing! For many years I experienced illness, isolation, and anxiety. At one point, the disease took over and I did not think I was going to make it. I prayed every night to God to wake me up in the morning. And He did! Today, I am alive, healthy, and overflowing with peace and joy. And this is just the beginning. God has shown me my future and it is blindingly bright!

I’m currently working on…

making YouTube videos about my journey and healing of Lyme disease.

Always…

hold onto hope. In the darkest of nights, the human eye can detect a small candle flame from 30 miles away. This tiny photon of light can pierce through the emptiness. It is the same with hope. Even a blackout can not defeat a sliver of hope. It takes a conscious effort every day to hold onto the light of hope, but soon it will grow and shine joy in your life!

Never…

think you are “not good enough,” to achieve your dreams. No matter what, you are worthy of love. You are worthy of healing. And you deserve your dreams to come true!

Favorite Quote…

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

Biggest Dream…

is to be an inspirational speaker, spreading hope to millions across the world. I see myself travelling the globe, modeling with backdrops of stunning nature and famous cities. I also see myself as a writer, and plan to write a book about my journey overcoming Lyme disease.

My Pet Peeve(s)…

when someone says, “but you don’t look sick,” to a person with a chronic illness. It does not accomplish anything and discredits the ill.

Summarize yourself in one sentence…

I am a Christian model activist with a mission to raise awareness, advocacy, and hope for people with chronic illness disabilities!



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