Pretty, hazel-eyed Jacquelyn Jeanne Mayer, Miss Ohio, touched by the magic wand of fortune, fought back tears of happiness Saturday night as she won the coveted title of Miss America, 1963, and in her royal cape walked down the long runway to great America and the world for the first time as Miss America.
The 20-year-old brunette, a coed on the Northwestern University campus, entered the contest at the urging of her roommate, a former Miss Minnesota, who suggested Miss Mayer could win scholarship money via the Miss America organization. She was crowned in the Pageant finale at the Atlantic City Convention Hall in front of 30,000 Miss America fans who gave her a standing ovation.
Her image was beamed by television across the nation and into the homes of some 60,000,000 Americans.
The Cinderella story was just beginning.
Miss America 1963, Jackie Mayer, suffered a near-fatal stroke at age 28, bringing her Cinderella lifestyle to a standstill.
Awakened in the early hours after the family's Thanksgiving gathering, Jackie found she could not move nor utter a single word. Rushed to the hospital, Jackie was diagnosed as suffering a massive stroke.
Only 28, Jackie began the challenge of relearning simple tasks that she had taught her 5-year-old son just months before. The tables were turned. With Bill as her teacher, she learned the A-B-C's, how to tie her shoes, and how to laugh at her own mistakes.
Through the support of family and friends she began a seven year recovery process that brought back motor functions, enabling her to walk, speak, and regain most of the day-to-day functionality the stroke so quickly took away.
Throughout the journey, Jackie's positive outlook on life never waivered. She set goals and accomplished each one of them. She developed a strong empathy for the plight of those like her and began thinking about ways to share her guidelines for success.
Jackie dispels the myth that Miss Americas live idyllic, fairytale lives. Today she considers herself 90% recovered and uses each day to strive to reach 100%.
Jackie is an inspirational speaker who lectures to dozens of corporations and educational institutions each year. She is particularly effective working with healthcare organizations where she can speak at a luncheon or major event, then visit patients on a one-on-one basis. Through her grace, patience, and compelling life story, she immediately connects to patients, families and healthcare professionals.
To confirm Jackie Mayer for your next event, call (419) 357-1510 or contact her via e-mail.