Charlotte is our favorite new legging this season, but she is first and foremost our dear friend, who is kicking breast cancer in the butt. Her story is impactful because it could happen to any one of us - regardless of our age! She recently sat down with PAIGE to shed light on her journey and how you can prevent your own breast cancer.
Tell us about the work you do to help your community.
It’s important for me to help the women everywhere in my community by using my voice and bringing awareness for early age breast cancer, advocating early detection, and pushing doctors for early examinations and detection efforts, while providing advocacy, support, inspiration, and info to Women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Why did you start doing this work?
I started doing this work because in September of 2018 I was diagnosed with HER 2 Breast Cancer at the age of 31, which is extremely rare - with a 1-in-10,000 chance of contracting this at my age. Seeing as my mother had breast cancer just 4 years before, I had urged my doctors for mammogram checks yet they all declined them in the years leading up to this diagnosis on account of being too young and healthy for them.
When I was diagnosed just a year later, I felt compelled to share my story and urge women to take their health into their own hands, and make women aware of how important early detection is for a patient's outcome.
Which women inspire you daily?
My mother inspires me and my three elder brothers daily with her strength, positivity, and bravery, which helps me to carry my fight today and to help other women to carry theirs as well.
Is there anything you do to stay balanced and motivated?
To stay balanced and motivated, gratitude and waking up every day grateful is the most important thing to create the energy that one needs to get through this. I am a firm believer that the power of positivity can truly heal your body. Being positive has been one of the strongest weapons I've had through this process and has proven to be a valuable ally in hard times.
It's easy through this process to allow the diagnosis to make one feel like a victim, but being grateful, positive, and accepting of this journey that has been chosen for me has truly helped me maintain who I am today.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned through working with your community?
There is a tremendous lack of education for early age women's breast cancer, and it is one of the largest growing issues that young women are dealing with today. Women are not being educated today nearly early enough about the true dangers of early age breast cancer. Taking your health into your own hands, and the confidence to do self exams regularly is everything.
If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
It would be to have more respect for myself and not to rely on other people for my happiness and outcomes. Every experience in life is a lesson that you can learn from to be a better person.
What do you want to see happen in the world as it relates to International Women's Day?
As we grow more social as a society, it would be incredible to see International Women's Day become a collective opportunity to have women continue to share their challenges and victories, to empower and inspire each other, provide each other with support, and speak about their experiences, so others can learn from it, and share all the information and knowledge that is the heritage of being a woman.