Read about Jearlean—a cancer survivor, model, and health advocate
Looking to grow your network of inspiring friends? Look no further than our featured Inspire member for the month of February, Jearlean. Below, Jearlean tells her health story in her own words. You can connect with Jearlean on Inspire. Or, contact us to have your health story featured in an upcoming issue of our newsletter.
“My life had some unexpected outcomes. I guess you can say ‘life’ happened. At the tender age of 3 years old I developed a rare form of cancer (rhabdomyosarcoma). Because of the location of the tumor, chemo and radiation treatments, I had to undergo ostomy surgery. I was cancer free a year after my diagnosis and treatments, but left with two permanent ostomy (bags).
In later years, no one could imagine my medical difficulties, low self-esteem, insecurities, not loving myself, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. However, through my journey with support from family, friends, medical professionals, and faith in God I discovered who I could be in spite of my medical circumstances. My insecurities did not change overnight, but I learned to be a survivor.
I am using my voice as a cancer survivor and my ostomy journey (advocacy) to share with others your life is not over because you have life circumstances. I encourage ostomates to find hope through what we call “life”. There is the brighter side of life struggles. I encourage anyone suffering with any medical circumstances or insecurities to change your thoughts into positive thinking. You change your thinking, you change your circumstances for the better.
Today, I continue to share my journey via social media, traveling (in person), and other media outlets. My modeling career is going strong with publications, featured on New York Time Square Billboard, (hometown) Baltimore Billboard, own and operate online Ostomy apparel store, and blessed to be a mentor to many. My documentary, Pieces of Me, is now available on YouTube. In 2023, I will be visiting South Africa to share my ostomy journey. I give of myself so others may be encouraged through my life experiences.
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!”
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”– Lena Horne