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One of our favorite parts about our show is meeting some of the most inspiring people.
Emily Cox (@emilysjourneyxo on Instagram), a 24-year-old young woman from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, is one of those people.
"I'm a two-time cancer survivor," Emily says.
"Three years ago, I was living a normal life, working and going to school—and went on a big trip in Whistler, BC, with my partner," she recalls. "After a big hike, I noticed that I had severe knee pain, so we went to the emergency room, and after one X-ray, we found out that I had bone cancer. My world flipped upside-down. I didn't really even know how to comprehend what was happening and what I was being told. It was really upsetting."
After being diagnosed, Emily completed four rounds of chemotherapy, which shrunk her tumor. She then had a limb salvage surgery, which replaced the bottom half of her femur and knee joint with a metal prosthesis.
She went on to do another six rounds of chemotherapy—and it was then that she was declared cancer-free for the first time.
"After being cancer-free for two years," Emily explains, "I had my six-month follow-up scans, and they found some bone irritation in the X-ray. We went through a biopsy, and that's when they found out that my cancer had returned."
"I knew the treatment was going to be very aggressive, but I had no idea what was in store," she goes on. "After doing research, my only option to remove the cancer completely was to do the hip disarticulation surgery, which is where they remove my entire left leg—removing the femur completely, all the way up to my hip."
"It was really hard to accept, because once [I did] the research, it was hard to find what my life would look like after living 24 years with two legs," Emily says. "It was definitely hard to stay positive, but after connecting with other people that have gone through the same surgery, it made it a bit easier."
Emily went on to talk to her doctor about prosthetics—and he mentioned that with a surgery like Emily's, there isn't a residual limb to move a prosthetic.
But he encouraged Emily to prove him wrong.
"That's exactly what I'm going to do," Emily says.
"I made a video counting down the days until my amputation and then after my surgery," she explains. "I had originally made that video for myself, but after watching it, I felt like I wanted to share that and let people know that it's okay and normalize the thought of it."
"I posted the video on TikTok, and it absolutely blew up," Emily continues. "I was not expecting that at all, but I'm really happy that I did, because I got so much positive feedback from it."
Emily's partner has since started a GoFundMe for her prosthetic, which costs around $75,000. One month in, Emily had received about $50,000. While that's absolutely amazing, we wanted to get Emily even closer to her goal. In fact, we wanted to help her reach it.
That's where our friend and lifestyle expert Tommy DiDario comes in. He called the team he works with at Garden of Life—and they were so moved by Emily's story, they're giving her $30,000 to complete her goal!
On top of that, we asked Tommy to spoil Emily a bit. Tommy is always so good at helping our guests find clothes that make them look—and more importantly feel—amazing. And Emily was ready to try some new styles. Check out the stunning looks Tommy put together from for Emily from SOTO Boutique in LA in the video below.