Jearlean is from Baltimore, Maryland. Her outward appearance is one of beauty, high fashion, grace and charm. Her inward existence was one of low self-esteem, shame, insecurity and complex, chronic medical complications. While others appeared to be living a “normal life”, Jearlean struggled with self-pity, unhappiness, depression, low self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts. She found it hard, embarrassing and painful to be considered “different”.
Her life has proven to be a journey of unexpected challenges. Jearlean was diagnosed with a rare form of vaginal cancer (Rhabdomysarcoma) at 3 years old. Rhabdomysarcoma or RMS is a childhood cancer that starts in any organ that contains skeletal muscle cells, those most commonly tumors are found in head, neck, bladder, and vagina. She was cancer-free a year after my diagnosis, but left with permanent ostomy (colostomy and urostomy), which aids her bladder and bowel functions, which cause me to wear (2) ostomy bags (www.ostomy.org). They are located on each side of her stomach, just at navel area. An ostomy refers to the surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes. An ostomy bag (pouch) attaches to the abdomen and is fitted over and around the stoma to collect the diverted output, either stool or urine.
We have the ability to make a difference, to change lives, be role model, and be all that we can be. Jearlean is blessed to have her desires, passions, and dreams come true. I have been a fashion model for over 17 years, yes with two ostomy bags. To see the outer appearance no one could ever tell I live with these adversities. Now considered one of top fashion models in her state.
Jearlean is inspiring cancer survivors, encouraging ostomy patients, inspiration to fashion models, and helping those suffering with low self-esteem. To see the outer appearance no one could ever tell she lives with these adversities and what she deals with 24 hours/7 days a week. She is changing lives though her story.