THE MONTCLAIR TIMES GUEST EDITORIAL: LIVING BOLDLY, AN AFFIRMATION OF LIFE
Featured in The Montlcair Times, August 11, 2016 issue.
This is a photo of me, Chiara D’Agostino, holding O, The Oprah Magazine, September 2016 issue (on stands now). I’m in their Ageless spread, under the Resilience category, as a breast cancer survivor.
The blurb reads: "In 2014 I was diagnosed with Stage II triple-negative breast cancer. I found the lump on the eve of my 43rd birthday, the month after my dad died. I had chemotherapy and two mastectomies. After the first surgery, my boyfriend broke up with me — when I moved out, I still had drains in my side. But I’m even more resilient now. I threw a ‘boob-bye’ party before each mastectomy and started a blog (www.beautythroughthebeast.com) for other women going through this. I feel strong these days because I’m alive."
When diagnosed with breast cancer, I was scared and very lonely. Even though some friends and family helped, I was the only one going through treatment; mine was the only life that was affected by the diagnosis.
After chemo and my mastectomies, I was bald, breastless, and exhausted. I did not feel attractive.
Eventually, my hair grew back its natural grey color and I developed chemo curls. I received many compliments, and was inspired to follow a dream I had always had: to become a fashion/beauty model.
After cancer, I live boldly and follow my dreams — I’ve come close to death, so I no longer let anything stop me from taking chances.
I got a couple of agents, with the advice of Montclair model Rosanne Guararra and started auditioning. When O, The Oprah Magazine, was looking for a woman who had gone through a very challenging experience and came out stronger, I applied and got cast.
This was my first professional print as a model. It felt amazing to have my hair, nails, makeup, wardrobe done and then be placed in front of the camera of famous NYC photographers GentlandHyers. I felt so beautiful; it had been over a year since I felt attractive.
I cried when we were done, thanking the crew for letting me see myself in another light. I may have scars and wounds, but I am still beautiful, for beauty shines from the inside out.
I continue to model, using the attention to educate women about breast cancer. My blog is www.beautythroughthebeast.com.
Oprah Magazine Photo by GenlandHyers
Secondary photo by Carey Kirkella Photography