‘Strength and determination’ wears this year’s JCYF Queen crown

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Allison Hudson is the 2021 Jasper County Youth Fair Queen. Photo courtesy Hudson Family

In a dress that had to miss the senior prom and a neck-brace she’s had to wear since April, Allison Hudson smiled her best through tears of joy as she was crowned this year’s Jasper County Youth Fair Queen.

Her folks – Doug and Sara Hudson of Oronogo – stood in awe as they reflected on the adversity their 18-year-old daughter has overcome. Health complications on the day she was born led medical professionals to tell the family, “don’t expect too much,” and “she’ll never walk.”

“They didn’t think she’d make it through the night,” Sara said of her firstborn. “She’s been a miracle since day one.”

With a mild case of cerebral palsy plus other health issues along the way, Allison not only walked – she went on to live life to the fullest with the biggest smile. She welcomed her little sister, Kassidi, to the farm at age 4. And Allison enjoyed learning farm life from her family – especially her grandfather, Raymond Hudson.

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Her first showing at the fair was a sewing exhibit when she was in fifth grade, and for the last six years she’s shown pigs and turkeys. There were years when showing was difficult because of Allison’s ongoing health problems, but it never occurred to her to quit trying. She adores each of her pigs on an individual basis, and says they have great personalities.

In 2019, Allison showed her animals at the fair with a feeding tube in her nose. It was eventually discovered she had an internal food allergy, and she pushed through that obstacle in due time. But that fall, the family suddenly lost Raymond to cancer at the age of 76. Allison still carries the pain of that loss today.

Allison Hudson is the 2021 Jasper County Youth Fair Queen. Photo courtesy Hudson Family

Just weeks before her high school graduation, Allison faced another kind of obstacle. She was involved in a car accident and immediately was MedFlighted to Springfield. The family watched Allison – yet again – beat the odds and recover from a broken neck, head laceration and injuries to her shoulder and hand.

She had to miss her senior prom, but she did indeed graduate this May from Carl Junction High School.

“She has come leaps and bounds already in her recovery,” Sara said. “We have fought the odds, and we feel blessed we have had each other through what we’ve faced. She has shown so much determination and strength, it blows me away.”

Allison had participated in pageants her whole life … but this one was special.

“I’m truly blessed to have my whole community behind me,” Allison said through tears.

In August, Allison plans to use her A+ program to attend Crowder College. After her two years there, she plans to transfer to (possibly) Oklahoma State University to pursue her dream to become a veterinarian for both large and small animals.

When thinking of the young participants at the fair this year, Allison considered what she hopes they learn most from her …

“Whatever you’re facing,” she said. “Don’t give up.”

The Jasper County Youth Fair is July 14-17 on the fairgrounds of the Municipal Park in Carthage, Mo. The public is welcome to attend and enjoy the schedule of events.

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