Some of the wisest lessons come from some of the youngest people. Andrea Sierra Salazar is just 17 years old, but she has learned something valuable. Not long ago, this Texan teen was diagnosed with Stage 2 nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma after discovering a lump in her neck. She had to undergo chemotherapy and lost all of her hair. This would be difficult for any 17-year-old, but Andrea loved to model in her spare time, so at first her hair loss posed a problem. She told BuzzFeed:
“Before chemotherapy I had always been a confident person,” she said, “so when my hair started to fall out I would look in the mirror and I wouldn’t feel that confident about myself.”
But soon, the teen decided to start modeling with different wigs to try out fun looks. And before long, she took the plunge and modeled completely bald. Andrea wanted to inspire young cancer patients at her hospital who were self-conscious about their hair loss. But she has been an inspiration to countless people beyond her Texas area.
Photographed by professional photographers, Andrea recently shared her photo shoot with the caption “Cancer doesn’t stop me from being a princess,” which has gone viral.
The article continued:
Andrea didn’t always have the confidence to model without a wig. “[At first] I didn’t feel confident enough to do a version without a wig,” she said, “but then I realised that I had no reason to be ashamed of the way I looked, I should be proud.
“It’s not only about my outside beauty, it’s about the inside. That’s what really inspired the photoshoot without the wig.”
In words far more mature than her age, Andrea summed up her experience perfectly:
“I want them to know that your hair or your physical attributes doesn’t define who you are – what really matters is your inner beauty, the way you treat others, and if you’re a kind person, that shows through.”
Cancer doesn’t stop me me from being a princess. pic.twitter.com/39RaDuVwkH
— Andrea Sierra (@sierraandrea99) August 10, 2016