Magazine / People

Alumna and former Miss America Rebecca Dreman battling cancer with help of her family

“There had been word around campus that Miss America was going to be taking classes, so I went incognito with my cowboy boots and a bandana," Rebecca Dreman says of her first day at DU law school. Photo: Associated Press

Rebecca (King) Dreman (JD ’77) is a former Miss Colorado who was named Miss America in 1974. But today she’s more like a boxer in a knock-down, drag-out fight — a fight for her life.

In September 2010, after she felt a marshmallow-like lump in her arm, doctors gave her a gut-punch of a diagnosis: stage-4 melanoma.

That’s typically a death sentence in about five months. But besides being a beauty, Dreman has proven to be a fighter. More than a year later, she’s still standing with the help of doctors, many friends and, of course, her family.

Helping to spread the word about Dreman’s fight is Rebecca’s daughter, Diana Dreman, who was crowned Miss Colorado 2011 and who made cancer awareness her platform during her reign. Diana competed in the Miss America Pageant in January; it was the first time in the contest’s 90-year history that the daughter of a former Miss America competed for the same title.

Rebecca Dreman, who lives in Denver, remembers her days in DU law school fondly. “They were most patient with me because I was traveling a lot as a former Miss America, and they were very helpful,” Dreman says.

“I remember my first day of law school. Thompson Marsh was the teacher,” she says. “There had been word around campus that Miss America was going to be taking classes, so I went incognito with my cowboy boots and a bandana. Then Thompson asked me a question and I had no idea what the answer was. Then he introduced me to the class. It was a funny way to start out law school.”

After DU law, Dreman became a domestic-relations attorney specializing in divorce. She also pressured the Miss America Pageant to award points for the interview section of the competition and has spoken in favor of female empowerment at many schools and organizations.

Her message about cancer: “There is hope. The medicine is getting better, and it seems that almost every day there are changes for the better in the medical and research communities.”

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One Comment

  1. Hi Rebecca,

    My husband and I remember when you were employed as the choir director at Fitzsimons Army Chapel. You were one of the best choir directors we worked under. We had orders for Germany when you became Miss America. Just remember the choir in Aurora.

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