June is National Cancer Survivor's Month: Guest Blog Post by Warrior Shaylee June 29, 2018 00:13

^^All photography by Naomi Read Photography

A few weeks ago, we were so inspired by the most beautiful bald headed badass beauty we'd ever laid eyes on!  She was encouraging others fighting the same fight through her photos and stories full of struggles and exciting moments and sick days and happy days with her loved ones.  That's what cancer is about - highs and lows and full of scary moments.  What most attracted us to Shaylee was how she said "I would never want to be pre-cancer Shaylee again" -- because she felt cancer taught her just how precious and beautiful every life moment truly is.  So, we asked her to model for our brand.  Because she stands for literally everything we believe in - women empowering women to empower themselves...and to show our love, support + root for cancer survivors this month (and every day), we asked Shaylee to write a guest blog post describing her journey and how she's feeling today :).  

GUEST BLOG POST BY SHAYLEE BEDWARD

HAPPY SUMMER BABES! I can’t believe June is almost over! June is National Cancer Survivor’s Month and although I’m currently undergoing treatment, I consider myself a “survivor” every single day.

My name is Shaylee and in October 2017 I was diagnosed with stage IIIc ovarian cancer. I was 23 years old, worked out five days a week, and stayed away from animal products, processed sugars, and fried foods. I was doing everything right! To this day I sometimes still can’t believe it.

Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, abdominal discomfort, feeling full quickly, unexplained weight loss, back pain, or changes in bowels, urinary frequency, or menses. Sounds just like a rough Time-Of-Month, right? If ANYTHING feels even somewhat off and lasts for more than a week, please get to your doctor! And don’t leave until they’ve done enough testing to figure out the root of the issue. YOU are your best health advocate! Diseases don’t discriminate.

Since my diagnosis I’ve gone through two abdominal surgeries – one being a complete hysterectomy – and over six months of chemotherapy. I lost my hair, my eyelashes and eyebrows, my short-term memory, and my ability to have my own babies. Wow! That’s a lot for a 23 year old. I felt like I lost not only my femininity, but my entire identity as well. Cancer takes a lot from you. It strips you of everything you know and forces you into a life you never asked for. But with that comes a completely new perspective. I’ve realized I’m so much more than my physical identity. Beauty truly DOES radiate from the inside out! When you can’t recognize the person in the mirror staring back at you, you’re forced to see yourself for the amazingly brave, strong, and resilient woman you truly are. And that’s SO empowering!

That’s why I’m obsessed with MADI and all of the amazing women behind it! Empowered women empowering women. How awesome is that?!

The photo shoot with MADI was the first time I had ever had a professional photographer take photos of me. And I was basically bald. Talk about stepping out of my comfort zone!

But everything came so effortlessly with them. I chatted with some beautiful interns and laughed with our amazing photographer and literally felt like I was just hanging out with my gal pals the entire time. I love that the pieces are so versatile because let’s face it, I pretty much live in them for weeks straight. THEY’RE SO COMFY! It’s like being hugged by a cloud! They’re simple, unique, and stand for so much more than their outward appearance – just like me!

So thank you Hayley and the wonderful women of MADI for giving me a one-of-a-kind experience that I’ll never forget! You made me proud to rock my beautiful, bald, little egg head and that means more to me than you’ll ever know.

Happy tears on our end...she's seriously the coolest + strongest + heart of gold babes.  Thanks for reading.  To read other inspiring stories from survivors like Shaylee, click here

XO, Team MADI