Legally blind Miss Florida contestant has visions of inspiring others

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - For some, the Miss Florida Pageant is about glitz and glamour.

For Connor Boss, Miss Delray Beach, it's about much more.

"Hopefully, I can inspire people," she said.

The 18-year-old from West Palm Beach  has Stargardt's disease. She was diagnosed with the eye disease when she was eight years old. Ever since, her vision has declined.

Boss's 20/400 and 20/600 vision makes people appear as nothing more than shapes.

Miss Florida Karina Brez, and fellow contestants, are encouraging Boss' tenacity during this week of rehearsals.

"Connor's a very brave, beautiful young lady," said Brez.

Contestants tell Boss if her makeup is even. And as for the swimsuit and evening gown walks?

"The stairs are kind of scary for me, but I've been given a little extra rehearsal time, so I count my steps," said Boss. "And one of the pageant producers, Miriam, she's  backstage, and she's usually yelling, 'Step! Step!'"

Boss said it would be thrilling to win Miss Florida, but her goal is to better herself and make friends.

Her message?

"Just don't hold back. Chase your dreams. You can do it," she said. 

Boss and nearly 75 other contestants will compete for Miss Florida Saturday night at 7:00 at the Bailey Concert Hall on the Broward Community College campus in Davie.

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