The whole idea behind the “I am Frida” project is to showcase real women that know the true meaning of struggle and perseverance. It’s women that have gone through or are going through a rough time in their life, yet they refuse to give up and they don’t just show up on a daily basis, they show up with lipstick and a flower crown on, if you know what I mean!? If you aren’t familiar with Frida Kahlo, she was a Mexican painter and creative writer known mostly for her self portraits, her passionate love letters to her husband, Diego Rivera, and her painful lifelong struggle after having sustained serious injuries in a bus accident in Mexico City. I won’t go into more details on her life and struggles but I will say that no matter the pain she was in or the personal struggle she was in, you wouldn’t know it if you saw her. In her famous portraits both on film and canvas she almost always wore a colorful dress or skirt, she had her hair up, red lipstick on and her signature flower crown. She struggled immensely throughout her life and although she was very open about her struggles both physically and emotionally expressing herself through not only her paintings, but her writing as well, you never saw her in a state of despair or not “put together,” she carried herself like royalty and held her head up high.
With that said, I am honored to bring you my first “I am Frida” feature; my cousin Nancy. Her struggle is close to me and all of my family’s heart since it involves her son Gavino. Born with a rare genetic abnormality of which most babies don’t survive outside their mother’s womb, the doctors told Nancy her newborn baby boy was not likely to live past infancy, that he would never eat on his own, that he would never walk, the list goes on! Nancy and her family would not just accept that, they fought for Gavino and being the champ that he is, he overcame many medical procedures and surgeries and is now 5 and half years old and is able to walk and eat without any feeding tubes. As a mom, I know the struggles of parenting, but nothing like Nancy does, her struggle is real and ongoing and she doesn’t give up, she shows up on a daily basis, she is there for her son and her family supports her and is behind her and Gavino everyday. Nancy admits it has been hard and it will continue to be a hard for her as a mother and a health advocate for her handsome little man, but she puts her best foot forward, pulls herself together, slaps that lipstick on, and is ready to battle the world for her son and his well being.