model

‘It can’t be bad, you’re young. You look fine.’ I questioned whether my symptoms were in my head.’: Single mom diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, ‘I don’t know what tomorrow has in store, but I’m ready to fight’

“I went from busy full days of work to barely handling the commute. I struggled to keep up with other moms my age. Misconceptions such as, ‘Young people can’t get it,’ and ‘You look totally healthy,’ infuriated me. It’s not just a disease for the elderly. I wasn’t fighting only for myself, but also my son.”

‘I screamed, ‘I love you! Please don’t leave me!’ She’d changed her tampon. She started seizing and stopped breathing right in front of me.’: Mom loses daughter to Toxic Shock Syndrome, ‘My beautiful girl was a fighter’

“It was my daughter’s 19th birthday. She wasn’t feeling well, but still wanted to go out to dinner. When we got home, my baby was sick to her stomach. She was completely out of it. Something wasn’t right. I hug her saying, ‘It’s okay, the ambulance is coming.’ Then, all of the sudden, she looks at me, takes a deep breathe, and closes her eyes. I held her as she took her last breath. I didn’t want to let go. I prayed God would take me instead.”

‘I was offered a ‘fashion model’ job. Naive, I took it. It was a false company ran by dead people in other states.’: Human trafficking survivor speaks out, ‘I never thought it would happen to me’

“I was a junior in college who’d just lost my scholarship. I needed money to pay my tuition, so I took the job. I was a small town girl, self-absorbed in my own world. Maybe I was too young, or too naive. I thought it was a ‘black or hispanic problem’ in the urban city. Over the course of a few months, my life came to an abrupt halt. This was anything but a modeling agency.”

‘Don’t take her home with you,’ I was told. ‘If you have other kids, she’ll be a detriment to them.’ How wrong they were.’: Mom keeps baby, now world’s first ‘working model’ with Down Syndrome

“I’d never taken Madeline to a fashion show before because she was always sick. When her health increased, we walked in as I thought to myself, ‘What have I done?!’ I knew full well my daughter would want to be on that catwalk, too. Sure enough, after the show, she turned to me and said, ‘Mom. Me. Model.’ I’m the type of mom to do whatever I can to make things happen. Little did I know what this all would turn into.”

‘I was a teen at a nightclub. I lied. I got scouted, but there was a catch. He needed $3,000 for the ‘lessons.’: Daughter reconciles with addict mom after being signed over to the government as a child, living in 11 foster homes

“I saw my mom inject heroin. When the social workers came, I would hide all her needles. I didn’t want to be labeled ‘the foster child’ at school. When I turned 12, only 2 couples came forward wanting to adopt me. I felt like I was betraying my mom. I no longer wanted to be here, and inhaled poisonous fumes. But now I know why I’ve had this life.”

‘He had the Stanford medical degree, not me. I trusted him. Aren’t we supposed to believe the doctor? I was home alone when I got the call.’: Woman receives unexpected cancer diagnosis after colon surgery fallout

“I decided that day I was going to take my life. I knew I couldn’t survive chemotherapy and breast cancer alone, and I was too prideful to really ask for help. I decided killing myself would do my family and friends a favor. I was a liability, not an asset. I had gone from being a thriving mother, model and athlete to a sickly woman needing constant care. My life had crumbled.”

‘He said, ‘You can look like a wholesome American beauty, or you can look weird and androgynous. We want to wipe all of the wholesomeness out of you.’

“I started counting every calorie, I ignored my hunger, and I’d work out without eating much or anything after. I’d weigh myself whenever I could sneak into my parent’s bathroom. The scale dictated my happiness, the size of my clothes measured my worth. Hopefully I can sustain this starving myself thing for the next ten-ish years, I’d think to myself.”

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