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Stephanie Drenka


Diversity Chic: Jamberry #TellYourStory

Diversity Chic: Jamberry #TellYourStory

Diversity Chic is a collaboration of Dallas bloggers showcasing current fashion trends on a variety of skin tones, hair colors, body types and heights. Each month we will feature a new trend tailored to our personalities and style.

I was introduced to Jamberry last year and have been a fan ever since. When they approached Diversity Chic for a collaboration, I was thrilled! I thought to myself how easy it would be to share the benefits of the nail wraps, how long they last, and maybe write a tutorial about how to apply them. But the direction of this post took a personal turn when I realized that they were sending us products from their Commitment to Charity line. You see, Jamberry has challenged people to #TellYourStory and fight against cancer.

When we first found out that our house had tested positive for asbestos, my heart sunk into my stomach. For obvious reasons, I was stressed about the work that needed to be done to abate it, the time it would take until we could move back in, and the monetary cost of repairs. But it was more than that. The word “asbestos” terrified me. Not for any of the reasons listed above, but because hearing the word took me back to the first time I learned what it was– when my grandpa was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

My Grandpa Paul had never smoked a cigarette in his life and was in otherwise pristine health. He was always the first to try the latest health craze. I remember trying the cod fish oil he took each morning (in liquid form) and gagging. His healthy smoothies consisted of ingredients like spinach and cantaloupe. When he’d blend a concoction for me, I’d wait until he wasn’t in the room and dump it out over the balcony. Grandpa Paul was the healthiest person I knew. It was almost incomprehensible to me that he could be diagnosed with such an aggressive form of lung cancer. The doctor told my mom that the mesothelioma had been caused most likely by grandpa’s exposure to asbestos during his career in construction.

For Thanksgiving that year, my parents and brother flew to Arizona to spend it with my grandpa, and I went to Chicago to be with my grandparents on my dad’s side. Grandma Irene happened to have gone into the doctor’s office that week for stomach pain, and was not feeling well enough to cook a big meal. Thanksgiving had never been the same for our family since my Uncle passed away, so it was pretty typical that we went out to eat instead of having a traditional meal at home. By the next week, the doctors had confirmed that my grandma’s stomach pain was a symptom of colon cancer and she was to start treatment immediately.

While Grandpa’s mesothelioma was at a much more severe stage, Grandma’s colon cancer had been found early enough. She was also a two-time survivor of breast cancer, so I just *knew* she could beat this. She started chemo, and we were hopeful. But after a necessary surgery, her condition quickly deteriorated. Within three months of the diagnosis, she was gone. Grandpa Paul held on for a bit longer, participating in a trial at Mayo Clinic, but the cancer soon took him from us, as well.

Before that year, cancer had always seemed a scary but foreign plague. To lose two of my grandparents from different sides of the family at once from it was, at the very least, a rude awakening. I want to thank Jamberry for their work in raising awareness and supporting local cancer charities in the hope that one day we can finally find a cure. For each wrap purchased from the collection, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society. I was proud to collaborate on this campaign and share my story.

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Be sure to visit my fellow Diversity Chic bloggers to read their stories: Valery, Sevi, and Denise.
Special thanks to Jeff Ackley for taking our group photos this month,
and to Jamberry for providing products for this collaboration!

4 comments

  • Desiree Leone

    October 28, 2016

    Such a fun post! Your friendship seems so special! XO

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