October tends to be my busiest month of the year and as crazy as it is, I really look forward to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I HATE that it even exists, but I feel like I am living in purpose all month as I do everything I possibly can to be a voice for all of us younger breast cancer thrivers and survivors. My goal all month-long is to create awareness around the issue that breast cancer affects women of ALL ages, and secondly to try to change the beliefs and perceptions around MBC (metastatic breast cancer.) I haven’t had much time to sit and blog as I have been traveling and running around from September up until now and it would take too much time to blog about each event independently. So instead I am going to give a recap of my last couple of months and all of the incredible events that I was able to attend and was fortunate to be a part of :
The Nalie Show Live in Montreal
I traveled to Montreal at the end of September to be a guest on The Nalie Show Live. I was grateful to be invited to be a guest on the show, but more importantly, to finally meet Nalie in person. It was my first time ever in Montreal and it was an experience I will remember forever!
The show was such a grand production, at a beautiful, packed venue. It was an inspirational spin of the Ellen Show (since Ellen is Nalie’s fav). Motivational speakers from all walks of life were guests on the show and were able to share their stories of overcoming all types of adversities with inspirational takeaways. I spoke on a panel and shared some of my journey alongside some amazing kick ass people. I think every guest left the venue that evening feeling like they could achieve anything or overcome any life obstacle or challenge. I was blown away by the energy in the venue that evening and I’m so looking forward to the Nalie Show Live in other major cities in the near future. And Nalie was everything I imagined her to be. She is my soul sister and her and I have big plans for the future, the first and most important being… kicking cancer’s ass!
First Annual DESIGN + THRIVE Event
Right after returning from Montreal, I dove head first into event planning for the first annual DESIGN + THRIVE event in my hometown of Los Angeles with the help of my fellow thriver sis Michelle and my bestie and business partner Amanda. We partnered up with Hot Rod LA with the most generous help from VANS and created an event where people came to custom design their very own pair of sneakers and tees with the help of the Hot Rod pros. 100 percent of the proceeds from our ticket sales went to Boarding for Breast Cancer. B4BC is a non-profit foundation that advocates early detection and a healthy, active, and sustainable lifestyle as the best means for breast cancer prevention. Founded in 1996, B4BC empowers young people to make positive choices that promote lifelong wellness through outreach, prevention, sustainability, and support programs.
PJ Butta and KDAY, Suja Juice, Pinches Tacos, Essentia Water and Real Her were our incredible sponsors who provided food and entertainment for the event. Atendees made some creative sneakers and gear and even got to tag up the store front of Hot Rod in honor of someone affected by breast cancer (which we painted pink for October). This was our first ever DESIGN + THRIVE event and considering we pulled it off with 2 weeks to plan, it was a success! It was super fun and unique and something different to do in lieu of a cancer walk or marathon, and all for a great cause! Next year’s will be even better…stay tuned for our second annual!
5 Under 40 Gala
5 Under 40 is one of my favorite breast cancer non-profits and it’s founder Jen Finkelstein, is also one of my favs. I always say that I have had so many blessings and silver linings on this crazy ass journey and meeting her has definately been one of them. 5 Under 40 is one of the unique organizations that provides support specific to young women affected by breast cancer. They provide funding for medical, wellness and beauty services to women under the age of 40 that have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or have tested positive for the BRCA gene. We focus on a woman’s whole being in order to empower, foster hope, and improve the quality of life for women in the face of this disease.
While in NY I had the opportunity to attend the 5 Under 40 Gala at the beautiful Capitale. It was such an exceptional evening and an emotional one for me. Watching the brave young women who got up and spoke/presented triggered some of the emotions and fears I had when I was newly diagnosed. I also got to meet some of the young women I communicate with and mentor though email and social media, so that was really impacful and meaningful for me. Needless to say it was a very special night to raise funds and awareness for everything that aligns with my purpose and mission.
Pink Runway Fashion Show
Being a part of this event was SO very meaningful to me. I got to walk in the Survivors Fashion Show for Maimonides Hospital where Dr Borgen works. Dr Borgen saved my life, literally. He uncovered my misdiagnosis a few years ago and saved me from the oncoligist who had me on all of the wrong drugs for almost 4 years. Naturally I have a special place in my heart for him forever, so when they asked for me to be a part of the Fashion Show, I was so happy and honored.
A few days prior to the event, they asked to feature my story so I went to Brooklyn where we filmed a short narrative that was played prior to us survivors walking down the pink carpet.
It was amazing to see all of the women who were also treated by Dr Borgen and the Maimonides staff. I’m actually getting my mastectomy and reconstructive done there in a few months so meeting other women who have undergone the surgery by the same team was really reassuring. It was really great event to be a part of… and so fun too!
QVC Appearance for the Le Metier “Stephanie” Kaleidescope
A couple of Octobers ago I partnered with the prestigious cosmetic brand Le Metier de Beaute and together we created the “Stephanie” Kaleidoscope to sell at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores with proceeds going to local charities to support young women affected by breast cancer. This October, I was asked to travel to Philiadelphia to go on QVC to both share my story and sell more Stephanie Kaleidoscopes to help support women with breast cancer.
I jumped on a train the following morning after The Pink Runway Fashion Show, and headed to the QVC Headquarters. I was on the Beauty IQ segment that evening (which was live… God help me lol) and I shared a little bit about my story and mission and we demo’d and sold the Kaleidoscopes. It was quite an experience but also extremely nerve-wracking being on live television with millions of viewers tuned in. Neverlethess it was a success and I got to meet up with some of my closest friends in Philly (both whom work for Le Metier), visit some family I hadn’t seen in years in Philly and most importantly raise funds and awareness for all of us thrivers and survivors.
TEDX Hoboken Women Talk
Last, but certainly not least, was my TEDx Talk in Hoboken at the beginning of this month! I had been anticipating this Talk for months. Our group of speakers was so powerful and our curator, Elizabeth Barry was the most incredible mentor who really whipped us into shape the months leading up to the event. I have always dreamed of giving a TEDx Talk, as I love watching them in my free time. They are always so interesting, captivating and inspiring. So being that my story was “TED worthy,” …I was elated. The essence of my Talk was about How Intuition Saved My Life. I spoke about my misdiagnosis and all of the signs that appeared around that critical period that were ignited by my intuition/God, which led me to uncover what was wrong and ultimately saved my life.
There is a certain format and formula when giving a TEDx Talk so there is much preparation and studying required. Being that I had so many other events and event planning going on leading up to the event I was so worried I wasn’t going to do my best, but I managed to study every chance I got and pulled it off. Success! Unfortunately we were unable to take video or pics during the Talks but I will have the link to my Talk sometime in January per TED and will post then.
It’s been a busy couple of months but totally worth all the while. Time to exhale and focus on a special project I will post about next. Thank you for following my crazy journey. Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for you.