December’s Fighter Feature is Shay Johnson. Shay is a reality TV star and model who helps spread awareness of fibroids by engaging in conversations in our Talk About “U” series on Instagram Live.
Happy holidays everyone! My name is Shay Johnson, Fibroid Fighter and advocate.
How can we come together to help our communities this holiday season?
The holiday season is considered one of the best times of the year but in each community, there is someone who goes without. I feel one of the best ways to give back is to bring joy, balance, and peace to someone’s life. One of the many ways I like to give back is by feeding the homeless in my community. To see that smile on their face and to know I was a part of that special moment is self-gratifying.
Life constantly hits you with unexpected circumstances. So, it’s best to learn from each situation to become a better you. No matter if the situation is good or bad, each circumstance makes you who you are today. One of the many hard life experiences I dealt with was fibroids. Throughout the year I’ve been able to help so many women with my story. Although I was unaware at the time of all my options I know my story has prevented women from making the same mistake I made. My story also gave me peace of mind knowing surgery is not the only option.
So for this holiday season, my plan is to continue to be informative by speaking up and speaking out about my journey mainly bringing awareness towards uterine fibroid embolization aka UFE. Spreading the joy of information is how I will be an asset to my community along with my yearly routines of giving back.
Happy Holidays to everyone and enjoy!
What’s your first memory of suffering from fibroids?
The first memory I have from suffering from fibroids is the day I fainted. At the time I did not understand why but shortly after I was advised my hemoglobin was low and I was highly anemic due to fibroids. At that time my doctor stated I needed a blood transfusion. This is when I realized how serious my situation was and I had to stop running to face my medical issue.
How did your life change when you were diagnosed with fibroids? What did you begin to notice?
When I was diagnosed with fibroids my life had already changed for the worse. This is only because I allowed fear to take over. I became distant from family friends and ended a relationship thinking there was no way to maintain it while having fibroids. I was completely wrong. Once I opened up and began to speak about my situation I realized how many people not only cared for me but were also going through the same experiences I was in.
What do you wish you knew about fibroid treatments before becoming an ambassador? What treatment did you undergo, and, if you could choose a treatment NOW, what would you get?
Before I became a Fibroid Fighter I was unaware of UFE. Once I was aware I had fibroids my doctor gave me two options:a myomectomy or hysterectomy. UFE was never mentioned or an option, therefore I chose between the two options given to me. If I was aware of UFE at the time I had fibroids UFE would have been my first option, but it was not presented to me.
Why is it important to talk about women’s health issues, including fibroids?
I feel it’s very important to talk about women’s health issues because as a unit it’s easier to make a change when we come together. Fibroids are one of the many health issues women do not talk about but this is why I am a spokesperson to continue to bring awareness. My goal is to continue to speak up and speak out and hopefully in the near future we can find a cure.
As an Ambassador, what are you doing to advocate for fibroids?
As an ambassador, I’ve made sure to speak my truth consistently on my experience with fibroids. Of course, I’m not a doctor, but my story and experience with fibroids have helped so many women and I’m sure it will continue to help.