Her Personal Platform Saved Her From Being A Victim

The more I read about Kyrzayda Rodriguez the more her story hits home. Like Kyrzayada, I'm of Dominican descent, style is one of the creative tools that I used to express myself when my life was turned upside down by cancer.

To some, fashion may seem frivolous but for many of us, it's the armor that we choose.


When I was sick, the last thing that I wanted to do was to look sick. I made sure to apply makeup and always tried to look my best for every appointment.

When you're in the waiting room of a cancer center with people who look like the living dead, it's so scary.

In that moment you literally feel like you're in the room WITH death, you can sense it, smell it, and it’s hard not to look for that versus hope or joy. You also can't help but wonder: who would make it - and - who wouldn't.

After my most intense surgery in 2013, I decided that I was going to use fashion to celebrate life.


For many years, I wore black and stayed away from bright colors and prints. I never wanted to be seen, at all. But after surviving all that I had been through, I knew that I wanted to thrive. So, I totally revamped my style. It wasn't that I wanted to "look better" but I genuinely wanted to express to the world, how I felt on the inside.

I felt I had graduated as the Valedictorian of my current body, learning from the body I had lived in before.

I decided to wear prints, bright colors, and let my hair down. Slowly but surely, people started to see me in a different way because I was experiencing myself and life in a different way. This very same energy and power are evident when you scroll Kryzayda’s Instagram account, despite her obvious weight loss, she was still striking fierce poses, and using her voice in a victorious tone - if you’ve ever wondered the power of your story on your personal platform, just go read some of the comments from her supporters.


Though I'm 100% cancer free I suffer from a lot of chronic illnesses as a result of some of the organs that I've lost along the way. Till this day, no matter how I feel, I always make sure that my hair and makeup are done and that I am dressed in something that makes me feel fabulous!

Something that makes you feel amazing, like a dress, pair of platforms, or your favorite lipstick, is a powerful tool, and your secret weapon. Without uttering a word, my inner-voice sets an intention for herself as she leads me to choose the way I move through the world by the way that I dress.

The way that I dress makes me feel powerful even when my body feels weak.  

Just like a pen can be mightier than a sword, so can red lipstick.

If fashion and beauty is not your thing, what is that one thing that helps set a confident tone for the day?

When Sahar invited me to speak at Own Your Voice Summit she emphasized to me that the “pivoting with trends” title of my presentation is not just about style and staying relevant, it’s also about staying fashionable when the personal trend in your life isn’t an A-line dress but a hospital gown.

Sending love, light, and immense gratitude to Kyrzayada in heaven for continuing to share her love for fashion on her personal platform, owning the voice of victory not defeat, an example so many living with cancer need to witness.