Sonya Keshwani, founder of StyleEsteem Wardrobe, was honored to be invited to serve as a LOVE Ambassador for the Dr. Susan Love Foundation. She was selected from hundreds of advocates to share her unique and inspiring story as part of their campaign to make breast health information more accessible and actionable for all.
In Her Own Words
STAGE 1 | BARD1
One day, when I was 29 years old, I took a shower and found a suspicious lump during a breast self-exam. From that day forward my life was forever changed. I was soon diagnosed with an early stage triple-positive breast cancer, even though I was “too young” for breast cancer and had no family history. After taking a genetic test, I also learned that I carry the rare BARD1 mutation, for which the initial research shows an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
What lay ahead – over 1 year of chemotherapy infusions, hair loss, and multiple surgeries – was the hardest experience of my life. To get through the biggest challenge of my life, I learned I would have to do things differently. Every time I faced a hard moment, I reprogrammed my mind to find something to be grateful for. Doing this actively, even when I didn’t feel like it, made a huge difference in my outlook.
Most importantly, I found gratitude in having a voice that could change how other young women like me experience breast cancer. During my diagnosis, I learned what it was like to feel like you don’t belong because you are bald, or because talking about health is taboo in your brown community. I want all women who walk this path to know that their beauty flows from within and that cancer doesn’t define their worth. And learning about your health history, doing self-breast exams, and talking about breast health doesn’t have to be scary – it can be empowering and lifesaving.