Author, speaker and wellness advocate Nalie Agustin, BA (communications) 12, has over 60,000 followers on Instagram, 20,000 subscribers on YouTube and a blog that she started in 2013, shortly after graduating from Concordia.
She also has Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, an incurable disease — which, despite the odds, she’s been both thriving with and searching for the tools to cure, from within.
“It’s a matter of really believing that no matter what the statistics say, you as an individual are powerful and have everything it takes on this earth to overcome illness, as well as beat the odds,” says Agustin. “I believe that our emotions have a direct effect on our body, so it’s important to find a tribe that supports you."
In addition to her boyfriend, friends and family, Agustin’s tribe includes everyone who has been following her journey since she first started posting on her blog, shortly after finding a lump in her breast at age 24.
Agustin has shared everything — from the struggles of dealing with the chemotherapy, mastectomy, radiation and reconstructive surgery she underwent initially in 2013, to having to relive the experience all over again in 2017, when the cancer moved to her lungs — on her blog and in her first book. Chemo Secrets: Tips, Tricks and Real Life Experiences from a Young Breast Cancer Survivor is a 50-page guide to help young women go through chemotherapy like a boss.
“It’s written in our language and it isn’t scary,” says Agustin. She wrote the guide to help her fellow thrivers navigate issues like how to deal with your new sex life, fake your eyelashes and tie a mean turban as well as what to expect, bring and eat while undergoing chemotherapy.