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Valley mother battling cancer while competing for Mrs. Arizona

Jessie Munger - Mrs. Gilbert
Jessie Munger - Mrs. Gilbert
Jessie Munger - Mrs. Gilbert
Posted at 9:45 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 13:48:18-04

GILBERT, AZ — Life is not all beauty for beauty queens.

"That moment at our wedding, it just was surreal having my daughter, having my husband and us officially becoming a family," says Jessica Munger, Mrs. Gilbert.

In just two months, Munger went from experiencing the best moment of her life to then experiencing the darkest.

"They said, 'it's cancer,' and I just remember thinking, 'oh my gosh, there's no way,' because you can never prepare for that moment," says Munger.

An oncologist diagnosed Munger with triple-negative breast cancer, which is extremely rare and aggressive. She felt like her whole world fell apart that day.

"Am I going to be here for my daughter? I think that's the most heart-wrenching thought that there is because I know where I'm going when I die and I have such peace with that but, I also feel like I have such a purpose here," says Munger.

Her purpose is now more apparent than ever. Munger received a call to run for the title of Mrs. Gilbert, a title which could lead to becoming Mrs. Arizona.

At first, she turned it down. Then she heard the current Mrs. Arizona is actually a survivor of triple-negative breast cancer.

"That's when I realized that this might be exactly what I'm supposed to do... not wait until after everything is good to go but really, just be a voice for women and rise up in the middle of my storm," says Munger.

She wants to empower others to do the same so, that is her mission going into the Mrs. Arizona America pageant this weekend.

"I want my daughter to be brave, I want to be brave, and I want all women to be brave and realize that their voice is powerful… their voice can change the world," says Munger.

Munger has been rehearsing for the big competition in between chemotherapy treatments and is now facing the reality that she's starting to lose her hair.

"I want to leave a legacy in being brave, even when I felt afraid, even when I may not have looked my best… that I know who I am and I know whose I am, and I know that I have worth. I just want every woman to embrace that," says Munger.

To follow in her journey, click here.