Jearlean Taylor developed a rare form of cancer (rhabdomyosarcoma) at the age of 3 years old. A year after her treatments, which included chemo and radiation, and too many surgeries she went through, she was finally cancer-free.
As a result of cancer, she was left with two permanent ostomies, a colostomy, and a urostomy.
No one would imagine my difficulties of low self-esteem, insecurities, and my problem with loving me. My life was a journey of unexpected outcomes. I suffered from depression, unhappiness, other medical problems, and even suicidal thoughts.
Over time, Jearlean discovered who she could be despite her medical circumstances, and all thanks to supporting from family and friends, medical professionals, and her faith in God.
My insecurities did not change overnight, but I learned to be a survivor, embrace my ostomy journey, and love my scars, flaws, and my bags.
We have the ability to make a difference, to change lives, and be role models.
Jearlean has been a fashion (editorial and runway) model for 21 years.
To see the outer appearance no one can tell I live with these adversities and what I deal with 24 hours/7 days a week.
I learned through this journey called “life” my ostomy bags do not define me. I am changing lives by sharing my story. I used to say, “Why me? Why cancer? Why ostomy bags?”. Now I say, “Why not me?”.
Just because you have difficulties in life doesn’t mean you can not make it. You are more than your circumstances. We are all different to make a difference!
Jearlean is sharing her story to normalize life with a bag, or in her case, with two bags. Bags didn`t stop her to become a fashion model, on contrary, they inspired her to become a role model to everyone else who lives with a bag or is going to have a bag in the future.
Photography credits: Jazzy Photos, Vernon Davis Photography, Dwanye Baker
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