We’re kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a special edition of Why I Wear, featuring Meghan Koziel. She's a young cancer survivor whose story has been shared across the world, thanks to her willingness to reveal her scars and encourage other women to be comfortable in their own skin, despite life's challenges.
My name is Meghan Koziel and at the age of 26 years young I was diagnosed with stage 2b (ER/PR+, HER2 -) breast cancer on October 12, 2015. I underwent IVF for egg retrieval, 12 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy with lymph node dissection, 30 rounds of radiation therapy, hormone treatments, and breast reconstruction.I’m also an Occupational Therapist and mom to two miracle girls (age 2 and 2 months). And at night I’m a blogger (my blog is "She Sparkles On"), social media advocate and youtube guru.
I initially documented my journey through an online blog as a way to let family and friends know what was going on with my treatments during a time when the words “I have cancer” were too difficult to explain. I began describing in detail the highs and lows of every step of my breast cancer journey including sharing tricks, tips, and pics that captivated an audience much larger than my family circle.
My story has been shared across the world and broadcasted through social media outlets because of my openness to show my scars and encourage other women to be comfortable within their own skin despite life's challenges
The words I wear are “Sparkle on.” Once I was diagnosed, my friends and family wanted a slogan to put on a shirt. I REFUSED to accept ‘Megan's Fight’ or anything ‘TEAM MEGHAN’ related--- so I sat down and thought, “How do people describe me?” I love Pink, Disney, and sparkle… BOOM “Sparkle On” was born! (It’s also the name of my blog.)
Normally people come up with little slogans when they’re diagnosed, and I really wanted my slogan to not be personal to me, but for other girls to use it if they are in the same situation as me. To “Sparkle On” means that even in your most challenging days, the days where you're bald, have dark circles, and skin hurts so badly you can hardly move, you will not feel pretty on the outside but you will always have that inner sparkle inside your heart that makes you shine!
Can you share some of your best advice to readers who may be going through a difficult time?
Its cliche but NEVER EVER give up. Whenever I am faced with a tough time--- I always use that as a time to reflect on other tough times. yes at that moment things could really really SUCK--- but tomorrow things will get a little better... and as time goes on that really BAD time is a little less bad. Try to find something that makes you smile every day. And if you have to put on some sparkles and high heels to make it a good day--- WERK IT GIRL!
If you could give yourself one piece of advice in the beginning of your journey, what would you say?
Looking back on my journey, seeing EVERYTHING i've been through and to where I am today with an amazing husband and two beautiful baby girls--- I honestly wouldn’t give myself any advice at all, I would just give myself a BIG HUG. Because truthfully, I love every bit of how my life evolved, I feel like my Sparkle On motto lead me through my journey and placed me where I am today and I wouldn’t change a single thing.
What is one lesson/moral/mantra you want to instill in your own children?
I want them to ALWAYS be who they want to be, I want to fill their hearts and lives with love and laughter, and to let them know that wherever life leads us, I will always always be here for them and love them forever<3
Interested in more personal storied? Read…