In life, we pass so many people who we either inspire, or are inspired by. Often times when the question “who inspires you?” is posed, an answer with a celebrities name soon follows. I’ve seen people stumped on the question when it’s followed up with, “name someone who’ inspires you that’s NOT a celebrity?” For example, someone who is simply inspiring because of the way they are living their every day life. I currently follow several fashion bloggers on Instagram but when I first started Style Stamped, I didn’t look at many other bloggers work because I didn’t want to become inundated with too many ideas that would drown out my own creative thoughts. That can happen you know! You end up down a rabbit hole and forget why you started because everyone else seems to be doing it better than you. I was afraid of becoming discouraged by other’s who already had “it.” But the more I became social media “conscious”, I grew more and more intrigued by those who really understand personal style and it became fun to watch their interpretations. The first fashion blogger I started following on Instagram was Kyrzayda Rodriguez. I found her through a Steve Madden post where she had on these great beige fringe sandals and the Steve Madden site reposed her wearing them. I was smitten by her walk, her drive, and her style of course! More than that, she was projecting herself into her feed filled with beautiful backgrounds and accessories. She became my fashion blogger muse in the best visual sense. She was a single mom and we were close in age. She also took most of her pics in NYC which added to my love at first sight!
Fast forward a few years to October 29, 2017 Kyrzayda posted a picture of her in the hospital with oxygen in her nose saying that she was admitted into the hospital because something wasn’t right within her body. By November 5th, her post shared the daunting news of a cancer diagnosis. Stomach cancer. Stage 4.
This beautiful platform I shared with each and one you guys has open so many opportunities for me. I have met so many wonderful people. I have grown into a businesswoman. Most importantly I proved to myself that with hard work anything is possible. I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me. I’m so humbled. Here is a little updated. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with stomach Cancer. I still don’t know how to wrap my head around all this info. I know God will guide me but guys this has been the toughest challenge. I have learned so much this week … that kindness is stronger than anything, than your past and your mistakes. Thank you IG family for your prayers. I’m doing ok for now, and I will start treatment very soon. This is a new journey for me, I don’t want to fall into “why me” but find ways to overcome. My family & friends have been so supportive, I’m beyond bless! For now my IG friends remember to be kind to one another! #FUCKyoucancer
Throughout these past ten months I feel like we, as in all of her followers, have been with her through 5 different rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and countless hospital stays, we’ve seen the jugs of fluid that’s extracted from each of her lungs and stomach every week, we’ve seen her catheter scars on her chest and have watched her hair fall out…and we’ve seen her lose 40 of her 125 pounds. But what we haven’t seen is DEFEAT. Or sorrow. We have NEVER seen her give up and I’m pretty confident that we never will. Two weeks ago she shared that she would like to stop the treatments which sunk my heart a little as this 5th try at chemo wasn’t working as hoped. A few days ago she turned 40 years old. And she is STILL posting. Beautiful photos of LIFE.
I danced like no one was watching, I smiled as I wasn’t in pain, I enjoyed my loved ones. I felt true love in one room! I thought to myself if maybe love could cure cancer? That would my birthday wish. Eternally grateful for the love of my friends, family and my IG fam .. Love cancels all pain, time to win!! Wearing @michaelcostello #mamajuanacafe #birthdaylook #sothisis40
Right before she decided to stop the treatments, she did an IG Live where she announced that she would have a pop up shop for her online store in Garfield, NJ. Since I’m from NY and all of my friends are into fashion and are in NY, I decided to drive to Northern New Jersey and attend the sale to not only show my support, but to purchase some items that she handpicked for her store that I knew would be Style Stamped! It was also a chance for me to see my friends and just really talk about how this woman is impacting us all through her extreme fight with this horrible disease through social media. Although we didn’t get to meet her personally as she was under the weather that day, her family and friends who assisted with the sale carried on her passion as if it was their passion too. Her support system is amazing which I’m sure is such a reprieve during a time like this. My road dog (aka Little Lee) and my friends and I had a great visit and were happy to be there in that moment. Since that day we tell each other I love you and truly see life through a different lens.
I did a mini photo shoot in New York with Mike Young at the Bowery Wall after purchasing this super cute Jumper from Kyrz’s Closet! I paired it with bright accessories to compliment the mural “Intermission” by Tristan Eaton on Houston and Bowery Streets in Soho, NYC.
Who inspires you today? Let someone know that they inspire you. Tell people you love them. And most importantly, take care of you.
XOXO, Yana B.
Update: Kyrzayda Rodriguez passed away Sunday, September 9, 2018, right in the middle of New York Fashion Week, one of her favorite events.
View this post on Instagram
You were someone who inspired so many people across the world. Not only were you an icon, you were an amazing daughter, mother and friend. Our hearts are broken to see you go. But we know you are no longer in pain and can now rest. Heaven has gained an Angel! We love you forever! – Joanne 8.18.78 – 9.9.18