She’s been called the beauty queen with the bowel disease.
Meet Amber Gamble.
While most Miss World-types campaign for global peace and animal rights, this Sheffield student is aiming to raise awareness about something a little less glamorous: an illness which gives you the runs.
She suffers from ulcerative colitis, an incurable genetic condition which means, without medication, she struggles to retain her food.
“And that doesn’t mean I throw it up,” she tells The Diary today, looking elegant even while discussing the finer points of her colon.
Now, the 22-year-old, who is already the reigning Miss Buckinghamshire, is aiming to make it a double and be named Miss South Yorkshire too.
She’s one of 25 finalists who will compete for the prestigious title at Magna this Friday. She will use the platform to draw attention to the illness.
“I know it’s a little unusual but I want to show people that if you do suffer you can still lead a normal life and do all the things you want,” she says. “Some people might say it’s embarrassing because it has that queasy factor but I think that if me telling people I have this illness can help just one person who suffers then it’s worthwhile.”
Amber, of the city centre, is originally from near Uxbridge, and was named Miss Buckinghamshire in 2010 - the last year the competition ran.
Now, after moving here to study journalism at Sheffield University (“presenting on Sky News would be my dream job,” she says), she’s decided to have a go at this county’s pageant too.
“They’re great fun to be part of,” she says. “I know there are some negative connotations but you meet some really interesting people and do some really interesting activities.”
This year that has included, as reported in The Star last week, a charity fitness boot camp at Prime Mover gym in Dunlop Street, near Meadowhall.
“That was intense,” says Amber. “In fact, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this - one girl ended up being physically sick. They worked us hard.”
Now, she’s hoping she can win the competition which would earn her a place in the Miss Galaxy England 2014 finals.
“It’s not going to be easy,” she notes. “Some of those girls are absolutely stunning.”
It’s a view shared by organiser Jill Faulkner.
“All our finalists are worthy of their place,” she says. “Amber’s tale of fighting back against this illness is truly inspiring.”