Nalie Agustin never gives up
Nalie Agustin – On July 17, 2013, Nalie Agustin was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was only 24 at the time. Most of us can’t begin imagine what that might have felt like. Over the years, though, Nalie has learned that no matter the story, someone can relate. Instead of letting this life changing diagnosis overcome her, Nalie uses her story, her skills, and the connections she has made along the way to inspire others to never give up. Four years later, Nalie’s blog and YouTube series “The Nalie Show” have created a community and a space for survivors and “thrivers” like Nalie to connect.
Nalie’s natural reaction to share was instant. She filmed her first video moments after her diagnosis. “It started off as therapy for me. I would just record things when I felt the need to express myself,” she said. “There was just so much going on.”
“I felt isolated and alone,” Nalie said of the time after she was first diagnosed. Breast cancer is considered an older woman’s disease. A 24-year-old with hopes and dreams and a whole life ahead of her shouldn’t be affected by it—right? Despite that common assumption, Nalie found thousands of others in similar situations. “Everyone has their own personal battle. All kinds of battles could relate to my story.”
“I lost my breast, I lost my hair. My body changed. All at the age of 24 and 25, which are supposed to be your prime years,” she said. Nalie endured countless rounds of cancer treatments with her online following by her side. After two years, Nalie’s doctors confirmed that she was cancer-free.
Nalie’s blog grew organically with her story, through treatment and into her cancer-free life. “I continued blogging,” she said. “I continued sharing the struggles of being young and having cancer because one thing I learned is that when you are cancer-free, the whole chapter of recovery and life after cancer, and the trauma of it all is also important.”
The idea of working in the media, as an influential part of an online community has always been a dream of Nalie’s. “I’ve always been someone who enjoys the media, social media, and expressing myself. Vlogging and blogging just came natural to me,” she said.
“I felt like it was my mission and my purpose to continue to inspire,” Her idea for The Nalie Show came about when she was cancer-free. She wanted to use the community she had already built to share the stories of others. She set The Nalie Show to upload every Monday on YouTube starting in 2017. The Nalie Show features different guests ever week. The show discusses tips to overcome adversity using the uplifting stories of others.
Because life doesn’t always go as planned, a trip to the doctor’s office for a cough raised concern. X-rays confirmed an unfortunate twist in Nalie’s personal story. “I had nodules all over my lungs,” she said. Her stage 4 metastatic breast cancer was back.
“That was probably the most traumatic thing I have ever been through,” Nalie said. “Even more traumatic than the initial diagnosis in 2013. I did not want to share this. I was completely torn apart. I didn’t want to pull out a camera. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it. I immediately thought the worst.”
While The Nalie Show was initially delayed, Nalie’s personal strength, support system, and passion to share with others helped her record another video. “I felt like it was my responsibility to at least tell people,” she said. She explained the reason for delay to her audience. The Nalie Show began as scheduled afterwards.
Those who tune into The Nalie Show every Monday now catch a glimpse of Nalie’s strength as a “Breast Cancer Thriver” the second time around. “I’m going to fight this,” Nalie said. “I’m going to practice what I’ve been preaching for four years now about never giving up.” A day-by-day attitude helps her through the daily struggles associated with cancer treatment.
Despite chemotherapy pains and exhaustion, and reliving the physical and mental changes she remembers from her first diagnosis, Nalie still finds success in every day in the response she receives. The overwhelming response to her blog and YouTube channel gives her strength to write more posts; film more videos. “It’s just so encouraging,” she said. Plus, the people she features on The Nalie Show inspire both her and her viewers. “I interview people with outstanding stories. All these stories are so different. But no matter what they are going through, people can always relate.”
Nalie thanks her “amazing support system” for helping her live by The Nalie Show’s message to “never give up.” Her story has taken an unexpected turn, but she hopes to continue to inspire while she fights this battle.