Natascha Vega is a Group Business Director at an advertising agency in NYC. She loves the creativity that comes with what she does and the opportunity to impact different markets and consumer needs around the globe. When she isn’t deep into her work, you can find her running the streets of Manhattan, logging some miles as she loves to stay active.
On September 11, 2020, in the midst of an already chaotic year, Natascha got a call that changed her life forever after detecting a lump the month prior on her right breast: “Ms. Vega, you have Stage 2 breast cancer.” It was like a punch to the stomach, for a 36-year-old with a healthy lifestyle and no family history. It took a few days to settle in and be ready to face this reality the only way she knew how – taking action. Having lost her mom earlier in the year, she was faced with making decisions about countless tests, fertility and cancer treatments in a week’s time with one single focus in mind – not letting cancer win.
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Using the same mantra that got her through the training and the 2019 NYC marathon, “No Me Limites” (don’t limit me.) she replayed those words in moments of fear and doubt, to remind her that her will was stronger than anything that was attacking her body. Ultimately she had the most powerful angel watching over her – her mom.
Natascha underwent 5 months of chemotherapy, a failed attempt at the cold cap treatment to preserve her hair, 15 rounds of radiation and a lumpectomy surgery. She just finished immunotherapy and is currently taking the proper medications to prevent this from happening again.
While her ordeal was a scarring experience, she is a much better human today. She truly appreciates the small and big joys of life. Natascha understands the responsibility she now has to share her story, help others prevent a similar diagnosis from happening and/or be a shoulder to lean on for other amazing warriors currently going through a cancer journey. “These women who I am now lucky to know think that I am helping them, but they don’t realize that they are in fact saving me,” she says.
FTBOU is an organization born three years ago with a single mission: Create a safe space for women of color diagnosed with breast cancer and reinforce them that they are not alone. Understanding the importance of representation, FTBOU has successfully expanded its diverse ambassadors from the two founders to thirty Baddie Ambassadors over the last two years. The Baddie Ambassadors are women of color affected by breast cancer, who want to increase their presence in the breast cancer community through social media advocacy. Natasha Vega is one of these women. Tapping into various women from all walks of life, with different diagnosis and treatment routes, allows the organization to expand its voice and the women who can benefit from it.
Additionally, all ambassadors have a personal commitment and bias for action regarding advocacy and staying up to date with the latest cancer treatment developments—all to give it back when helping new breast cancer patients. In the last two years, FTBOU has also accomplished two successful retreats that have brought survivors from all over the nation to inspire and educate them as they craft their journeys.
For the Breast of Us will host their inaugural sneaker ball, “We Run This,” Gala during Breast Cancer Awareness month on October 15, 2022, in Houston, Texas. The Gala provides a platform where breast cancer survivors and thrivers are celebrated nationwide, along with those advocating and educating our community and those no longer with us. This Gala is another creative idea from the organization aiming to mobilize support in the fight against breast cancer, connecting their favorite wear – sneakers – with their favorite elegance.
Follow along on Instagram: @gitana0930 / www.nomelimites.net
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