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Lifestyle

Inspiring Awareness

October is National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and the love and support seen only a week into the month has been awe-inspiring. Here at MeMoi we’re honored to be able to support such an important cause through our partnership with Sharsheret, and our Awareness Collection whose proceeds benefit those struggling with breast and ovarian cancer.

But we knew we couldn’t stop there. Raising awareness is no one-and-done gig. It’s a constant endeavor that starts at the problem and ends at the solution; for cancer that destination may be yet unknown, but the only way we get there is by supporting and empowering the women in our lives and normalizing empathetic outreach for those struggling with or at-risk for cancers.

And one of the best ways to support and empower is, simply, to listen.

We reached out to breast and ovarian cancer survivors willing to share their stories and talk about how they empower themselves and other women. We’re proud to present our Awareness Series throughout October. We’ve profiled several strong women who have conquered cancer and are trying to give back in some way. First in our series, Jillian Veran Rezo. We asked Jillian several questions to better understand her and her story.

 

You can discover more about Jillian’s nonprofit organization, BeautifulSelf, on Instagram @beautifulselforg

 

Jillian

Remembering You’re Beautiful

 

Tell us about yourself! How do you empower women with your work?

I’m a 5-year breast cancer survivor. By trade I’m a beauty expert and spokesperson, which means nothing if you can’t help a woman FEEL beautiful. My work used to be very based in the world of celebrity,  fashion, etc. Now I say survivors are my celebrities. My job, my purpose, my passion is to show a survivor how beautiful she is, and encourage her to accept herself as beautiful in the wake of so much trauma.


Tell us about BeautifulSelf.

My best friend, Michele, and I started BeautifulSelf to offer survivors a place to go long after initial treatment is over. People don’t realize it, but the challenges we endure stay with us long after the bell has rung and everyone has moved on. There is a social, physical, emotional, and sexual ramification, as we try to navigate a body we no longer understand or recognize, and no one really wants to hear it after you’re labeled a survivor.  It’s kind of like, “you survived, move on,” but it’s not that simple.

BeautifulSelf is a deep, core transformation. Through our unique photo therapy we show a woman she is different, yes, but still beautiful, strong, and important! We offer a kick start to self-acceptance and love.


How has breast cancer impacted your life and the lives of others around you?

Nothing is ever the same for us or those that support us. It impacts everything, in big ways and little ways on the daily, it feels like. How doesn’t it?


What is a one or more simple ways we can support women facing a breast cancer diagnosis, or breast cancer survivors, in our lives?

I think everyone is different in what they want or need. But I think, ask questions, don’t be shy about the subject. Ask how you can help, how we’re feeling, and most of all, be patient with us. At home, at work, at play, just be patient. We’re not always the person you exactly remember, but we’re trying. Just be there.

 

Interview edited only for grammar, spelling, and clarity. None of the original context, thoughts, or ideas have been altered.

Want to help? Visit Jillian and BeautifulSelf @beautifulselforg

Shop our Awareness Collection, with a portion of all proceeds going toward supporting Sharsheret and women everywhere.

 

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