Miss Universe contestant-Israeli Titi Yitayish AyanawFrom a beauty who battled breast cancer to an orphan breaking racial and religious barriers, some Miss Universe contestants brought with them heart-wrenching — yet inspiring — stories. They are among the 86 women from around the world who competed for the 2013 crown in Moscow Saturday.

For Miss Bulgaria, Veneta Krasteva (right), the road to Moscow has been a difficult one. Just over two years ago, at the age of 18, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Miss Bulgaria isn’t the only one who has faced adversity. Titi Yitayish Ayanaw, Miss Israel, is an Ethiopian-born orphan who moved to the country when she was only 12 years old.

As for other history-makers, 25-year-old Moe Set Wine is the first Miss Universe contestant to represent the historically war-torn nation of Myanmar in 53 years.

(READ the full story from TODAY)

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