This year, I’m proud to be partnering with Ralph Lauren’s Pink Pony campaign to raise awareness for the fight against cancer. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer in one way or another… but this year, my reason for lending my voice to this campaign is one that I’ve actually never shared on my blog before:
i’m a cancer survivor.
In 2012, I was diagnosed and treated for Thyroid Cancer — completely out of the blue. I was in my final year of grad school, under immense stress… and then the diagnosis came, and it was nothing short of a roller-coaster of emotions. It was unreal… like one of those things you never REALLY think is going to happen, and yet, there it was. That said, I was luckier than most. Thyroid cancer is one of the more curable ones, especially when it’s caught early like it was for me… and I didn’t have to go through intense chemotherapy treatments after I had my thyroidectomy and radiation treatment.
Today, I still have a scar on my neck from my surgery (I never photoshop it out of my photos) and because I don’t have a thyroid anymore, I take daily medication to make up for it. It was shortly after my cancer treatment that I started my blog, in an effort to make a new start, start pursuing something I loved doing… and eventually share my story, which I feel so lucky to be able to do today with the help of the Ralph Lauren team. Please check out the video below if you have a moment to spare! <3
For every t-shirt bought, 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Pink Pony Fund for cancer research.shop
My story has a happy ending, but not every cancer is so easily curable. Last month, I lost a really good friend of mine to cancer: Kyrzayda Rodriguez. I met her almost two years ago to the date in San Francisco, on a brand project… and we had stayed in touch ever since. In this overly-competitive world of all things digital and fashion, Kyrzayda was like a breath of fresh air. She was inspirational, honest, funny, sweet and so encouraging… that when she told me about her diagnosis, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Even more so when the news broke about her passing less than a year later. I’d never wish cancer on my own worst enemy, but I couldn’t imagine anyone else who deserved such a tragedy less than Kyrzayda did. I don’t think a day has truly gone by without me thinking about her at least once — and sometimes my mind wanders to a dark place, where I wonder how she didn’t get so lucky when I did. The only way we can honor loved ones who have passed though, is to celebrate their lives by living ours and sharing love with those who are around us right now. I just hope that I can make Kyrzayda proud, wherever she is now.
Please join me and Ralph Lauren this year in the fight against cancer… whether it’s buying a t-shirt, donating to charity… or just reminding your friends and family how much you love them. Every little bit helps, and it’s my hope that we live to see the day when we can ALL win against this terribly devastating illness once and for all.
created in partnership with Ralph Lauren,
in loving memory of Kyrzayda Rodriguez.