survivor

‘I am confident you have the deadliest form of skin cancer.’ I burnt regularly. I remember peeling off dead skin.’: Woman survives both skin and breast cancer, has learned to always ‘trust your gut’ when it comes to your health

“I was lying on a sun lounger (in the shade of course) and I suddenly got an overwhelming, unexplainable gut feeling I needed a mammogram. I didn’t have any lumps, but my gut was screaming it was the right thing to do. I had so many unanswered questions. ‘Am I dying? How long do I have left to live? Will I be here to see my children grow up?’ I was so vulnerable and weak and didn’t know whether I had the strength to climb the mountain which now seemed to be looming in front of me.”

‘You’re going to do exactly what I tell you.’ He grabbed my throat. The devil was staring me in the face. Fear washed over my body.’: Young woman survives sexual assault in woods, ‘I refuse to hide. I need others to know they aren’t alone’

“A boat was pulling up, and two guys were inside. They said, ‘Who is this?’ I was confused. He was locking up his truck and his friends told him to hurry the hell up. He responded, ‘Hey at least I brought you guys some tail.’ My stomach sank, my heart started to race. I had recently been told I overreact…was this just an overreaction to a dumb joke? I went in the tent to grab a shirt because I was freezing. He followed me in and starting kissing me. My ‘no’ didn’t matter. I burst into tears. He looked at me with disgust. ‘I don’t like your attitude.’”

‘Your dad thought he could hit me, but you will NEVER hit me. I’ll kill you first.’ She was a 400-pound woman. I was a 9-year-old child.’: Woman survives child abuse and PTSD, repairs relationship with abusers, ‘I was born a SURVIVOR’

“She had me by my pigtails. She cornered me into our closet using a man’s belt to spank me. A friend saw her, and told her if she ever hit me again, he’d tell his dad. Later my mom tried having me committed to a mental hospital. After a 24-hour sit in at the ER, a doctor came in. ‘There is nothing wrong with you, except the fact you need to get away from your mother.’ I wanted a mom who WANTED to be my mom.”

‘I’m 14, alone with a boy. ‘What if you had sex with me?’ He leers. ‘No thanks.’ ‘What if I held you down and made you?’: Survivor advocates for fellow survivors of the Me Too Movement, ‘Culture tells us not to complain. To keep quiet.’

“I’m 17, and I have a long-distance boyfriend. He begs me for phone sex and I say no. ‘I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable.’ I hang up on him, feeling guilty. He’s lonely in the Marine barracks. I’m all he has. He needs me. He suffers from depression, self-harm. A few nights later, I pause on the phone. I hear his heavy breathing, muffled moans. ‘Are you…?’ I ask. ‘Don’t stop. Keep talking,’ he pants. Feeling sick, I hang up the phone. I feel dirty and embarrassed. ‘Men will only go as far as you let them,’ I’ve been told. Boys will be boys.”

‘Hey, you look swollen by your collarbone,’ my coworker stopped me. I groaned. I had a huge trip planned. The pain skyrocketed.’: Young woman lives with a chronic desmoid tumor, advocates so her ‘struggles can become guidance for someone else’

“My diagnosis began in a yoga studio. I noticed something was wrong when I couldn’t hold my balance easily. I developed a tight pinching and dull ache in my right shoulder. As I came out from anesthesia, my mom asked the doctor how it went. ‘Well, confusing,’ he replied. ‘The cause of your swelling and pain remains a mystery.’ I was stunned. I ended up in a surgeon’s office. ‘This is suspicious for a sarcoma.’ I had to interrupt. ‘I’m sorry, you said sarcoma? Do you mean I have cancer?’ I stammered in disbelief.”

‘I never knew this picture existed. The fateful day we became parents. My heart races each time I look it.’: Triplet mom shares harrowing photo before losing 2 babies, ‘I see beauty. And a miracle unfolding’

“We don’t know who was in this photo, their tiny features are far too difficult to differentiate at less than an hour old. Just moments after my husband took this picture, our two babies were rushed up to the NICU. We never had that picture-perfect moment in the delivery room, the one where a smiling family shows off their precious newborn. Instead, this is our photo.”

‘I can’t tell my dad, please, you have to.’ I couldn’t say the words. ‘Sometimes we don’t all make it to the end.’: Young woman survives cancer 3 times, says she is ‘finally living her full life’

“My husband held me as I cried and said, ‘I just don’t know if I can do it all again.’ I took a minute to figure out if it was the path I wanted to take. I was so exhausted, I didn’t know what would happen nor was I in a state to even TRY. I dug deep and knew in my heart I had to fight again. I was not going to let my family down by giving up.”

‘She is so beautiful, now I’m taking her away,’ he said, laughing, when my daughter was born. He took her in his arms.’: Woman discovers abusive boyfriend has secret family, ‘His wife told me, ‘I don’t care anymore, you can keep him if you want.’

“He left his social media open. I found chats with several girls. I made screenshots of all the conversations and printed them out. He said he was ‘only with me for citizenship’ and that a year from then, he would shoot me. I was terrified. I discovered he had a wife with 2 children. His oldest daughter was named the same as mine. His plan was to get me pregnant, marry me, and then bring his wife and children here, kicking us out of the house. I’d trusted him, but I am not weak anymore.”

‘I mouthed, ‘I can breathe.’ Dark voices started whispering inside my head. ‘I am scared to be a mother.’: Young woman survives near-fatal wreck, beats all odds, ‘My journey isn’t over but I’m starting to feel like ME again’

“I was in a medically induced coma for 17 days. I awakened to some very dark news. The doctors said, ‘You will probably never move more than 2 fingers.’ I am hearing this, but I can’t respond. I could not talk. I wondered why I was still alive. Prior to the wreck, I had long thick hair. They started washing it. Nurses were pulling out glass and other debris. I begged them not to cut it, as it was all I had left of my previous self.”

‘Your chest looks so flat. What have you done to yourself?’: Young woman battles with weight, self-esteem after abuse, now uses her voice to protect women

“During 5th grade, at my father’s office party in some big hotel, I went upstairs to play hide and seek. A completely drunk stranger started following us. When the rest of the group hid behind the sofa, the man pinned me down. After he was done, I ran downstairs to my parents. We were all crying and pointing upstairs. All the adults searched for the man, but he had left the premises. I packed more than 33 pounds. They would warn their kids, ‘Stop eating. Do you want to look like her?’”

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