I am living a full and vibrant life because why not?! I am living my best life.
I am Jearlean Taylor. I grew up in a happy home in Southwest Baltimore, Maryland. At the age of 2 years old, I developed a rare form of cancer (Rhabdomyosarcoma). My illness was discovered at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore, MD. After several consultations with doctors, my parents were advised to seek other hospitals that specialized in my type of cancer. My chemotherapy and radiation treatments began at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, New York.
I was cancer-free a year after my diagnosis but left with permanent colostomy and urostomy, which aids my bladder and bowel functions, which cause me to wear (2) ostomy bags (www.ostomy.org). No one could imagine my difficulties, low self-esteem, disappointments, insecurities, suicidal thoughts, too many surgeries to count, and my problem with loving me. My life was a journey of unexpected turns.
My heart’s desire was to make a difference in people lives, but there was something internally that was unstable in my life. My mind, body, and soul longed for answers. I displayed physical beauty but was suffering on the inside with low self-esteem, pity, and unhappiness. Could my beauty cover up the hurt? I would say my problem was cancer, but the disease was what I called “pretty girl blues”.
Through my faith, doctors, nurses, support from family and friends, and belief 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 an “OVERCOMER”. It is a blessing to have my desires, passions, and dreams come true. I have been a successful fashion (editorial & runway) model for over 18 years, yes with two ostomy bags.
In addition, “Pretty Girl Blues” is now my published autobiography. It tells the story of my life as a cancer survivor. Moreover, how living with ostomy (bags) affected my entire life. I am also one of the founders of Osto Beauties, an ostomy support group.
Today at 50 years old, I am living my best life. I am helping cancer survivors, ostomy patients, teaching and guiding aspiring fashion models, and encouraging those suffering with low self-esteem. To see the outer appearance no one could ever tell I live with these adversities and what I deal with 24 hours/7 days a week. I am changing lives through my story. “Live your life on purpose with a purpose for a purpose.”
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