Breanna Blick is the type of person you may want to hate. She's a blonde, tanned and gorgeous teen beauty queen, with a perfect white smile and an athletic body honed from lifesaving.

But behind this 18-year-old's glittering appearance is a tragic story, one that motivated her to enter - and win - the Miss Teen Australia competition in November.

Now she's taking her fight to the world.

Hey everyone, as you may know I'm leaving for America at the end of July to compete in the National Finals as Miss Teen...

Posted by Breanna Blick on Monday, 1 May 2017

Breanna lost her father Wayne to bowel cancer when she was just six years old, and he was only 36. "It really opened my eyes at a young age to how cruel the world can be," she told "It made me stronger."


When the young woman, from Newcastle in NSW, saw an advert for an international beauty pageant that required entrants to have a campaign platform, she decided she wanted to compete for her dad, as well as her mum Narelle and sister Maddy, 19.

"He was so supportive of us," she said. "He used to take us every Sunday to the beach for Nippers, until he was too ill. Even when he was sick, he was still talking about going to Queensland.

"He was such a funny, fun dad. He was just awesome."

Wayne was diagnosed with bowel cancer when Breanna was just four years old. He battled hard but, heartbreakingly, lost his life on Father's Day 2006.

So on September 3 each year, Breanna posts an emotional Facebook tribute to her truck driver dad, a surf lifesaver and boat rower who passed on his passion to his daughters. "Wish I could see this smile one more time," she posted last September, along with a photo, ten years after his death.

The year before, she wrote: "I can't believe another year has passed, I would do anything in this world to get you back. I miss you more and more every day. I love you daddy always and forever."

And the year before, she told him: "We're truly not apart until the final breath I take, you'll be living in my heart."

This year, she is hoping she'll be able to do more, through a competition some would condemn as utterly superficial.

Posted by Breanna Blick on Monday, 27 February 2017

She is heading to West Virginia in July for the Miss Teen International competition. While she will be judged on modelling fashion, fitness wear and evening gowns, what she has to say will be just as important.

If she makes the top ten, she will make a speech about her father and his illness on stage, and potentially get to spend a year working on the cause that's so important to her worldwide.

"Losing my Dad at such a young age had a profound impact on my life and upbringing in general," she writes in her Miss Teen Australia bio online. "I learnt the true value of life and to also never let an opportunity pass by. I live each day with purpose and meaning and enjoy making the most of and cherishing every moment. My life and my achievements, my motivation and drive all stem from my Dad and everything I do is in honour of him."

Having finished Year 12, she now works part-time at Revolution Sports Park and has been spending 2017 trying to raise $20,000 for Bowel Cancer Australia.

The disease that took Breanna's father from her the second most common cancer in Australia, with almost 15,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It kills the most people of any cancer after lung.

"I'll continue promoting bowel cancer awareness whether I win in America or not," she says. But she's on a mission to succeed, and break down the stereotypes on her way.

"I've never done anything like this before," she says. "I'm a bit nervous.

"I don't want to make it staged, I wanted to say it directly from the heart ... I'm just going to be myself and see how it goes.

"I can't say much about other pageants, but this is a great way to get the word out. It's so different to what I'd usually do, but I've enjoyed every step.

"I think he'd be really proud."

You can support Breanna's campaign on her GoFundMe page.