17 year old Andrea Salazar has a powerful message to other teens who are having trouble being confident in their own skin. She had been modeling since she was 13 and took a lot of pride in the way that she looked – especially her hair. One morning, she woke up feeling…off. She felt as if she had slept wrong because her neck hurt, but when she felt her neck, she discovered a lump that had formed seemingly overnight. Her mother immediately took her to the hospital, and doctors discovered that the lump was actually stage 2 lymphoma. She had a tumor in her neck and a tumor in her chest. She would need chemotherapy.
She would need to take time away from school, and her mother encouraged her to continue modeling despite the loss of her hair. At first, she wore wigs, but it just didn’t feel the same. During the last round of photographs, photographer Gerardo Germandia knew that she would shine even without her wig. The pictures that he took were stunning, and Andrea agreed. After they were finished, she posted them on Twitter with a caption that instantly went viral.
Cancer doesn’t stop me from being a princess.”
Nearly 200,000 people saw the pictures for what they were; an inspiring message to others that physical beauty is fleeting and unpredictable, but inner beauty is something to be treasured. It will shine through – even if you end up losing all of your hair. If you are a kind person, it will shine through.
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