Real women. Real stories. Meet our MAKEMERRY models.
Next up in our Model Citizen series is Rayvnn, an Oregonian office manager and student whom you’d least expect to be diagnosed with cancer. Why? Because she was just 23 at the time of her diagnosis, an age when most women worried about landing a “grownup job”—not undergoing a lumpectomy. In fact, her own doctor initially told her that she had “nothing to worry about” due to her age. Unfortunately, Rayvnn soon realized that breast cancer can affect anyone, anytime, at any age.
What did you know about yourself that was confirmed by this diagnosis?
That I am resilient.
What has been the most surprising thing about your diagnosis or experience?
My diagnosis in general. The first doctor I sought medical advice from told me that my mass was nothing to worry about...that I was too young for it to be anything serious.
What have you learned about yourself?
That I am surrounded by a strong community of beautiful individuals who support me.
What is the best thing someone has said or done for you during cancer?
Every act of kindness or loving gesture has been the best thing—no matter how big or small.
Now that you have had this experience, is there one thing that you would never say to someone diagnosed with cancer? Why?
I would never tell someone, “it’s going to be ok.” This statement is usually said without actually knowing if it will be ok. And that’s fine—that’s the reality. I’d much rather hear “I know things aren’t ok right now, but you’re a resilient badass with abundant love and support around you.”
Any advice for women who think they’re “too young for cancer”?
Feel yourself up every now and again! It takes seconds to check for lumps and it could save your life.
Now for the fun ones. At 10-years-old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist.
Your Starbucks order?
Cold brew, hold the cream and sugar.
Your biggest pet peeve?
Anything that’s a reflection of something I need to heal within myself.
Your weirdest/some-may-call-it-annoying habit?
If you could be anywhere other than here, right this minute, where would you be?
What are you happiest doing?
Living in the present moment.
Why do you want to model for MAKEMERRY?
To spread awareness.
Rayvnn’s mature, pragmatic attitude is an inspiration to everyone, both young and old. Being in tune with her body, trusting her gut, and being a strong self-advocate only proves that she’s wise beyond her years. Her journey is a good reminder that cancer does not discriminate based on age, race, sexuality, you name it. We thank Rayvnn for sharing her story.