Portrait of advocate Leya

Advocate Spotlight: Leya

AdvancedOvarianCancer.net shares the stories and experiences of people living with ovarian cancer. We are highlighting the story of our advocate Leya who was first diagnosed at age 18 with stage 1 ovarian cancer. Nearly 20 years later at age 37, Leya experienced a recurrence of her ovarian cancer now at stage 3b. Leya has since dedicated herself to supporting others living with life-changing conditions, and advocates for cancer patients to continue to live their dreams.

This is Leya's story...

Leya's diagnosis story

I was first diagnosed at age 18. I initially had stage 1 ovarian cancer. However, due to being misdiagnosed and not getting treatment when needed, it quickly metastasized to stage 2a. I had a recurrence at age 37 and was diagnosed with stage 3b ovarian cancer.

Treatment experiences

I have received a radical hysterectomy, chemotherapy, and various forms of targeted therapy.

Finding support and practicing self-care

The first time I was diagnosed, I was so young and unfortunately didn’t have the community and support that I needed overall. But I will say my faith in God and love from my parents got me through it.

Since my recurrence, I am learning the importance of eating healthier. It is necessary to know what feeds and kills the disease as well as what cleanses you and gives you life.

Advice to those newly diagnosed

Give yourself permission to rest and sleep. It’s ok to just say “NO” to what you cannot do. It doesn’t make you weak; in fact, it makes you stronger. You won’t heal pushing yourself nonstop. One of the most important keys to healing is sleep.

Embracing my role as an advocate

I advocate through my organization; This Is What A Fighter Looks Like. I use my social media and motivational speaking to inspire other cancer survivors to continue to live their dreams and be fierce and fabulous while they fight!

Something you may not know about me

I was homeschooled almost all through school and graduated as a highly advanced student!

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