Dayna Christison is a 25-year-old New Yorker who is currently battling stage four cancer. And she's just signed a modelling contract.
Christison, who Buzzfeed says has Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, was diagnosed at age 22, and has spent the last few years battling the disease with chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and a clinical trial (in which she is currently involved).
And while she's always wanted to work in fashion (she graduated from a fashion business school in NYC), it wasn't until she received her diagnosis that she considered modelling.
Her change of heart came after a photographer friend asked her to pose in some shots for his portfolio.
"I agreed and from there, when he started posting the photos I got a bunch of photographers that were really interested in working with me," she told Buzzfeed. "Mind you, I was straight bald at this point."
Since then, Christison has been signed to Major Models agency, and has walked in New York Fashion Week, along with starring in an Urban Outfitters ad campaign (among others).
She tells Buzzfeed after she lost her hair, she realized there was a lack of bald women in the media. She says she refuses to wear a wig or a scarf as she "didn't want to hide that because of what other people thought."
"It was hard sometimes. I would get anxiety walking into places and felt weird when people would ask me about it," she recalls.
However, that changed when women started to approach her, commending her for her bravery.
“It was one of the most amazing feelings I’ve ever had to have someone say that I helped them feel more confident because of my confidence,” she says. “I decided then that I needed to do this to help anyone I can feel even a little bit more secure in such an insecure time in their lives.”
Christison now hopes her modelling career will help inspire confidence in others battling cancer.
"I want to help and inspire others and I know that I want to do it in my own way," she says.
Christison isn't the only model battling cancer — plus-size model and ovarian cancer survivor Elly Mayday made waves last year with her beautiful lingerie shots.
To learn more about Christison, check out her Go Fund Me page, which was started by her family and friends to raise funds and awareness for her diagnosis.
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