Inspired by Miss Minnesota Contestant with Down Syndrome

Mikayla Holmgren made history in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant

FARGO, ND — Mikayla Holmgren made history as the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant.

One West Fargo family not only has a connection to the pageant world, but what it’s like to have a daughter with Down syndrome.

“When I saw her on stage looking so poised and so radiant and so confident, I thought this girl is going to move mountains,” said Trisha Stibbe, a mother from West Fargo.

That was Trisha Stibbe’s first reaction when she watched history being made.

“Times are changing and I thought it was so cool,” Trisha said.

As a former Miss North Dakota, Trisha knows the ins and outs of pageants.

But that’s not the only connection she felt when she saw Mikayla walk across that stage.

“I think on the day we found out our earth kind of shattered,” Trisha said.

Trisha has a two and a half year old daughter who is full of joy, happiness and laughter; she also has Down syndrome.

“I have three sons and I have this daughter. But my husband won’t have his first dance, my husband won’t have his little girl, I won’t have my mini me,” Trisha said.

As her daughter grows, she’s realizing that she couldn’t be more wrong.

“With awareness, comes acceptance and I thought that’s a perfect way of looking at this,” Trisha said.

Claire has her differences, but those characteristics are what makes her unique.

“We’re going to have all that. We’re going to work for it,” Trisha said.

Watching Mikayla glow on stage and fully embrace her beauty was a reminder to this West Fargo family that anything is possible.

“She’s a gymnast, she’s a dancer, she goes to college. I mean I keep reading all of these success stories and I think Claire is going to do all of that and more,” Trisha said.

“The world’s looking at the disability community in a whole different way,” Trisha said

“I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Trisha says she has connected with Mikayla and she is excited to hopefully chat with her and tell her how much she means to the Down syndrome community here in the metro.

Categories: Community, Health, Local News, Minnesota News, News Landing Page, North Dakota News