NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Everyone has their own way of fighting cancer.
One young woman used style and fashion to help her get through treatments for breast cancer.
Now she’s paying it forward.
Sonya Keshwani has always been glamorous and loved dressing up. So when she was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer last year and lost her hair, this is how she dealt with chemo:
“Each time I would go for treatment I would get dressed up,” Sonya said. “To show you how you can be this powerful, fierce, elegant force in the face of something that is just the total opposite of that.”
She hated wearing wigs, which can be incredibly expensive and uncomfortable.
“What no one tells you about hair loss is that it makes your scalp really sensitive and painful,” she said.
So in between treatments, she started designing fashionable head wraps, and created the company StyleEsteem Wardrobe with fun, colorful fabrics. Each head wrap has a powerful name: One is called “Watch me roar, watch me slay slay.”
The wraps cost $27, and for each one that’s sold, she donates a free wrap to a cancer patient. One of the recipients was Dr. Alexea Gaffney, who was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer last year.
“I’m able to feel comfortable feel confident. I don’t look like a sick person. I just look like someone who got up, got dressed and this is what I chose to put on today,” Gaffney said.
Sonya dedicated a head wrap to the Komen Foundation.
It’s everything it means to be a survivor. It’s beautiful, it’s powerful, it’s fabulous,” she said.
Part of the proceeds will go to helping women fight breast cancer.
Along with starting her new career, Sonya says cancer has also changed the way she lives: She now travels a lot more and spends much more time with family in Queens.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, cancer, it doesn’t have to hold you back,” Sonya said. “You don’t have to be like anyone else, you can just be you.”
And Sonya is definitely one of a kind.