Leya Elijah is a 43-year-old cancer advocate, plus-size model and founder of This Is What A Fighter Looks Like. A charity established to create unique opportunities, events, moments, and experiences for female cancer survivors of all ages. The mission is to encourage both women and girls to live their dreams, embrace life through treatment and most of all don't be afraid to be Fierce and Fabulous while you Fight!!!
Being a life coach, motivational speaker, and ordained minister, her heart's desire is to make an impact on the world around her. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of those she reaches through humanitarian efforts and expressions of love!
First diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 18, in the very early stages, she declined surgery, endured chemo, and fought hard for a year. After celebrating remission, she received news that she probably couldn't have children due to the aggressive treatment. She miraculously became the proud mother to 3 beautiful children, who are now 21, 22, and 24, and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first grandchild!!!
Unfortunately, after 18 years, ovarian cancer recurred much more advanced, stage 3C. This time she had to undergo surgery and even more aggressive treatment! It also didn't come alone, as she was also diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, breast cancer, and lung cancer since her initial diagnosis!!
Leya lives an incredibly active and fulfilling life. She is a dancer/choreographer and is Artistic Director of Pee Dee Community Arts Team. Eight years ago she slid into the director's chair; allowing her to write, direct and produce dance musicals for her team which has become one of her greatest passions!
As a Special Event Producer, Leya is the Creative Director/Visionary of BOLD Productions. She has produced Leading Lady Women's Expos which toured throughout SC. She also hosted and produced Friday Night Lights, a faith-based teen club hosted monthly; Bold Remixed Spring Fashion Show for Cancer Awareness, Co-Produced Curvycon Fashion Expo for Curvy Queens, and other exciting events!
People often ask how she has survived, she simply says with a smile, "Because I choose to!" She wakes up every day, ready to Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up and Show the world THIS IS WHAT A FIGHTER LOOKS LIKE!!!
Click here to see all of Leya's articles on AdvancedOvarianCancer.net.