DENVER (CBS4) – The survivor of a terrible fire has overcome a new challenge. Saturday, Danette Haag competed in the Mrs. Colorado Pageant.
She took to the stage at the Denver Center of Performing Arts as one of 35 contestants, determined not to let her burns stop her from fulfilling a dream.
Haag was 10 years old when her home exploded from a gas leak, burning nearly 70 percent of her face and body. Her dad escaped the same blaze.
He joined other family members at the competition to support Danette.
“We came here as a family, and as a husband, to support her as much as we can,” said Danette’s husband, Michael Haag.
The fire almost destroyed her dreams.
“It was a big deal in our family to watch the Miss America pageant every year. So, when she first watched it after the fire happened, she remembers feeling like a little girl who was crushed,” said Danette’s sister, DeAnn Cheney.
Through years of pain, surgeries, and physical and emotional scars, the 48-year-old wife, mother and professional now inspires others to see their true beauty the way she sees her own.
“We are all flawed. We are all imperfect,” Danette said to women attending a motivational speech that she made in February.
Working as an inspirational speaker, Danette also holds the title of Mrs. Windsor, Colorado. Standing in the spotlight is not all about her.
Danette hopes her time in pageant heels will heal other people who are suffering.
“She wants everybody to know that beauty comes from within, not from the outside,” DeAnn said.