Real women. Real stories. Meet our MAKEMERRY models.
Our next spotlight (and real-life MAKEMERRY model) is Danielle, a blogger, mother, and project manager from Oregon whose positive attitude is incredible—and infectious!
Prior to her own journey, Danielle’s only experience with breast cancer was when her best friend’s mom died of metastatic breast cancer. A traumatic event, she couldn’t fathom that she, a young woman without a family history of breast cancer, could possibly have it. But after five months of feeling a lump in her breast, and after her husband jokingly said that it could be breast cancer, she called her doctor, who referred her for a mammogram. The scheduler at the imaging center told her that she was too young for breast cancer or a mammogram, but Danielle insisted. Three days later, the radiologist confirmed her biggest fear. The first thing Danielle uttered? “But I have a 1-year-old.”
Danielle vowed to be strong for her family, and especially her son Martin. So after screaming “f*ck!” four times in the shower, she decided then and there that she wouldn’t let anything stop her. Instead, she sped up. She did Orange Theory every day of chemo treatment. She received her best performance review of her career. She continued to work and be a mother. Her mindset? That stopping your normal life will stop you from being positive: “If you act like a negative Nancy, your body will fester that. But if you can come into it with a positive mindset, you’re making the lives of everyone else better.”
What did you know about yourself that was confirmed by this diagnosis?
That positivity is my strongest asset.
What has been the most surprising thing about your diagnosis or experience?
Getting cancer was one of my biggest fears, yet I resolved to not let it control me. I definitely conquered those fears with a vengeance.
What have you learned about yourself?
That I can do anything that I put my mind to. I told myself that cancer wouldn’t control my life—so I put that into practice daily during treatment.
What is the best thing someone has said or done for you during cancer?
My grandfather—and personal hero—recently told me how proud he was of me. And that he wasn’t sure he could handle cancer the way I did. That meant the world to me since he is the strongest, most hardworking person I know.
Now that you have had this experience, is there one thing that you would never say to someone diagnosed with cancer? Why?
“If you had to get cancer, this is the one to get…” F.U. No cancer is THE cancer to get. Yes, some treatments are more difficult, but every cancer diagnosis should be treated with respect and compassion.
If you could tell your oncologist one thing, what would it be?
To try to be a bit friendlier. Such detachment can really hurt the patient. I would think, “He can’t even say hi to me in the hall? This is ridiculous.”
What is the silver lining from your experience?
So many #cancerperks. I didn’t have to shave or wax for six months during active treatment, my skin has been amazingly clear since being in menopause, and I got a tummy tuck through my DIEP Flap Reconstruction (which by the way, was the hardest thing I ever went through and is definitely not for everyone). I wrote an entire blog post about this on https://coopswholekitandcaboodle.com/ . But in all seriousness, I’m glad that I’ve been given the opportunity to change the course of my life, as well as help others. I want to speak up and be a presence in the community. I want to change the landscape.
Now for the fun ones. Your Starbucks order?
Double or triple espresso over ice with 3-4 pumps of skinny mocha flavor and 3-4 regular vanilla flavor in a tall/grande cup topped with heavy cream. Plus, a blueberry muffin not warmed up. Literally, I get this almost every day!
That one secret talent you possess?
Until recently my secret talent was writing but with my blog, it’s no longer a secret…I love to write.
Which Golden Girl would you be?
Rose. Short, silly, quirky, and a humorous story teller. Also, Betty White is definitely a #goals gal of mine!
What are you happiest doing?
Hanging out on the coast with my hubby and son just watching the ocean.
Why do you want to model for MAKEMERRY?
Because MAKEMERRY has been the only bra that I’ve been able to wear comfortably since my mastectomy. It has totally changed things. This is me giving back to an amazing company doing amazing things for survivors.
Danielle’s positive attitude and sheer determination is a testament to her character. She knows that if she hadn’t listened to her body, trusted her gut, and been vigilant about her health, she may not be here. To this day, Danielle urges women to be self-advocates and speak up for themselves. As she puts it, “This is you and your body.”
If you’d like to learn more about Danielle, her journey, or even learn some beauty tips, head over to her blog! Coop’s Whole Kit and Caboodle: www.coopswholekitandcaboodle.com