Lifestyle & Human Interest

24 Years Ago, Doctors Gave Her Two Weeks To Live. Now She's Competing for Miss America


Born addicted to cocaine and not expected to live past two weeks, Tiffany Seitz, 24, is now competing in the Miss America pageant.

She was supposed to die before her first birthday. If she did survive, she was supposed to have severe mental and physical disabilities.

But Seitz, who was crowned Miss Pennsylvania earlier this year, has defied the odds and is now an advocate for foster care and adoption.

Seitz was born on the streets in August 1995, addicted to cocaine — a helpless infant struggling to detox from a powerful drug addiction that was not her fault.

“Obviously a child in that type of condition would be in the NICU getting treatment,” Seitz told People. “But sadly that wasn’t the case for me.”

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“I was waiting in the streets, alone, while my mother was out prostituting trying to make money. It’s a rotten shame, but that was the reality for me.”

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“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” | 1 Chronicles‬ ‭16‬:‭34‬ I’m so grateful to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving in the City of Brotherly Love with my family, friends, and sister queens! I so vividly remember little 8th grade Tiffany performing a tap routine on the famous Rocky Steps during the IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade finale back in 2008, and never in a million years did I think I’d be riding in the Centennial Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade as Miss Pennsylvania! ✨ I’m thankful for all of the crazy cool opportunities that this job has given me, everyone that has made these opportunities happen, and for the village of people that surround me with prayer, positivity, and encouragement each and every day. Saving the absolute best for last, I’m grateful to God for His perfect timing, and his provision for my life. Not a single ounce of glory is my own to claim. Soli de Gloria. ☝?✨ • Luke 2:14

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Seitz was placed in foster care and went to live with a family from Freeport, Pennsylvania, for what was supposed to be a temporary living arrangement.

“They said, ‘Would you be interested in taking this little girl in for the weekend? You know, she’s cocaine positive,’” Seitz told People. “She’s not expected to live long, but we need to put her somewhere because the home situation is bad.”

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HEY FAM!! ?? It’s been a long and busy week, hence the bbrief social media hiatus, but I’m really excited to share with you all everything I’ve been up to this past week around the Keystone State! In other news, it’s officially ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH! ? I’m so incredibly grateful for the gift of adoption, what it’s done in my life, and what it has the potential to do in other children’s lives as well. To kick it off this month, take a look at the amazing spotlight article written on my adoption story by Miss Wilkes Barre/Scranton’s Outstanding Teen, Avia Weber! READ HERE ?? Happy November, everyone! ?? Looking forward to what this month holds, and we are one more month closer to Miss America! ? #MakeAmericaSlayAgain #MakePASlayAgain #MissAmerica #MissAmericaPA #MissPennsylvania #MissPA #MAO #HelloNovember #AdoptionAwarenessMonth

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The weekend foster care arrangement turned into a long-term placement, and when Seitz was 2 1/2 years old, she was formally adopted by Len and Lori Seitz, a couple who had spent years raising children through the foster care system.

Lori quit her job as a nurse to devote her time and energy to Seitz, homeschooling her until she was in sixth grade. Len and Lori had been told to prepare for their daughter to have severe delays, but she never presented any physical or mental challenges or symptoms.

“I’m so grateful that my parents have given me so much, opportunities that I wouldn’t have had had it not been for the gift of adoption,” Seitz said. “I hope my story will inspire other people to consider doing the same thing.”

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May is National Foster Care Awareness Month! My social impact initiative of Adoption Advocacy is very personal to me and I’m excited to share my story at Miss Pennsylvania this year. If it were not for foster care and adoption, I would not be where I am today and I am so grateful to be able to help others through this initiative. My family looks, feels and functions much different than other families because of foster care, and that’s one of my favorite things about it! We are unique, special, and I’m so insanely proud to be a part of such a special family! ? #MakePASlayAgain #MissLaurelwood #MissAmerica #MissAmericaPA #MissPennsylvania #MissPA #MAO #AdoptionAdvocacy #RestoringHope #TransformingLives #Adoption #FosterCare #HFIPGH

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Seitz, who is competing in the Miss America pageant Thursday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut, has made adoption advocacy her social impact initiative.

As she views her future through the lens of her past, Seitz believes God has orchestrated her life exactly the way he intended.

“That was about God’s hand in my life and what his plan was and what his destiny was for me,” Seitz said. “And lucky for me that has brought me here today.”

The week before the Miss America competition, Seitz posted a heartwarming update on Instagram, detailing how God’s hand has guided her throughout life.

“I enter this week with a grateful and prayerful heart that whatever the Lord’s desire is for my life will come to fruition in whatever way He wants,” she wrote.

“I shouldn’t be competing for the title of Miss America. I wasn’t supposed to have the job of Miss Pennsylvania. I wasn’t supposed to graduate college or high school. I wasn’t supposed to live beyond two weeks.”

“But God had a different plan,” she continued, “and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share with America what got me to where I am, what the gift of adoption has done for me, and what it can do for so many others.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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