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Miss NH set for national test

GILFORD - Hoping to do something nobody from New Hampshire has accomplished, Gilford's Megan Lyman, the reigning Miss New Hampshire, is heading to Las Vegas to try to win the Miss America crown next month.

"It's a little bit unreal," Lyman said Saturday. "I just want to get out there and get the ball rolling."

Lyman won the Miss New Hampshire crown in April on her third try. She said she hopes her many years of pageant experience will come in handy as she vies for judges' approval along with 52 other contestants from states and U.S. territories.

"I'm just ready," she said. "All the stars are aligning. It would be pretty awesome to bring home the title to New Hampshire."

Lyman's platform is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But her affiliation with the organization is more than symbolic. At the age of 12, she was diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcoma, a cancerous malignant tumor of the muscles attached to the bones.

"The scariest part of it all was that they'd never seen the cancer I had in someone so young," she said.

She beat the disease after three years in which she endured seven surgeries to remove cancerous tissue from her shoulder.

Lyman said she leaves for Nevada on Wednesday for rehearsals, which will be followed by preliminary competitions.

The public can help Lyman reach her goal. Votes for Lyman to be America's Choice for the 2013 Miss America competition are being accepted through Jan. 10. To vote, go to missamerica.org/videocontest or to the video contest Facebook tab at www.facebook.com/missamericaorganization.

The Miss America Competition will be held from Jan. 8 to Jan. 12 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Preliminary nights will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and start at 7 p.m. The final night of competition will be broadcast live on ABC television from 9 to 11 p.m.


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