Tiffany Paine, age 34

Photograph by Kiere Lee (2020)

Tiffany became one of the first individuals with a disability to grace the Ms. South Carolina stage in Spartanburg. She has been a Palmetto Princess two times and has also participated in the Miss Amazing Pageant for SC, winning the senior division. She went on to the national pageant in New Jersey. If you ask her if she likes pageants, she will tell you no, but she will say she had a great time! Tiffany also participates in swimming at the Special Olympics and has received three bronze medals.

One of Tiffany’s early and major challenges was having open heart surgery at eight weeks old. Tiffany has a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The surgery was rare at that time, and it was amazing to see her fight her way back to health. Since then, she has not let anything stand in her way.

Tiffany doesn’t judge and is very accepting of other people. When she is with family, friends and even strangers, the love she shares is inspiring—she makes everyone feel special. Her family calls her their social butterfly as she always has a good time no matter what she is doing and has a “never give up attitude”.

Her family is proud of Tiffany for all she has accomplished and looks forward to what the future holds. Her mom, Pam, says “I am blessed to be her mom and I thank the Lord that he allowed me to take care of her here on earth. She is an inspiration!”


Family Connection of South Carolina provides services and resources to families who have a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. Since 1990 we have served more than 100,000 families and today our services are needed more than ever. We focus on parent-to-parent support, guidance with navigating the complex healthcare system, and assistance with school meetings and special education plans.

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