Meet Danielle Messina, Breast Cancer Survivor and Star Fish Thrower

A little girl was walking along a beach one day, where thousands of starfish had been washed up after a storm. As she came across each starfish, she would pick them up, one by one and throw them back into the ocean. The other beach-goers watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for awhile when someone finally approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t possibly save all these starfish. You even can’t begin to make a difference!”
The little girl was crushed at first. But after a few minutes, she bent down, picked up another one and hurled it as far out into the sea as she could. She then looked up at them and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”
The beach-goers looked at the little girl inquisitively and thought about what she had said. Inspired,  they joined her and soon ALL the starfish were saved! The end.

I remember reading this several times the day I found it. The innocence and audacity of the little girl - to think she, alone, could make a difference - struck such a familiar chord. The notion that that we really could make a difference in the world, however small, simply for standing up for what we believe in is something we can all get behind. 

It's that desire to make a difference that prompted us to start KOOSHOO. We knew it wouldn't change the world; however, we knew by doing things the right way - conscious to all the stakeholders - that we could inspire others to do the same. In a way, each of the underpinning ethics of our brand - the organic materials, the local manufacturing, the charitable donations - are our starfishes. 

What we do, though, pales in comparison to what Danielle Messina is doing with Glamorganic Goddess, a lifestyle blog borne of her recovery from Stage 2 Breast Cancer (at just 31) and her want to inspire others in their own recoveries. 

It was on Danielle's blog that I first read the Star Thrower story above, her adaptation from Loren C. Eisley's original.

When Danielle was diagnosed with cancer she endeavored to turn her pain into purpose. She created Glamorganic Goddess as a resource for other survivors - and people everywhere - to find clean beauty products - those without carcinogens. 

Her clear passion for her subject, and her honesty around her own health, inspired thousands. 

I can't recall how I came across her blog but I remember writing to Danielle one day, to introduce myself, my brand and tell her how much I loved the starfish story. 

Over the next several months we wrote back and forth as we organized a KOOSHOO review on the Glamorganic Goddess. We lost touch last Fall when our daughter was born - things got kinda busy :)  

In the past 2 weeks I've written two articles here on The KOOSHOO Daily about young, incredibly inspiring, star-fish-throwing people who had recently passed from cancer (Jess Ainscough and Paul Kalinithi). Relaying their stories and what they stood for made me think of Danielle and I added a note to my ever-growing to-do list to get in touch. 

Today, before I had an opportunity to write to her, she reached out to me, along with many others, to share the following:

The reason I’m writing today, is because shortly after celebrating 5 years Cancer-free… I recently found out that there's now a new, secondary Breast Cancer - caused by Radiation {I guess, because I was so young}. As you can imagine, I'm totally devastated. Over the next few months I'll need a Bi-Lateral Mastectomy {with Reconstruction} + plan to use a very aggressive, Natural + Integrative Treatment plan. However, hardly any of it's covered by my insurance. 

People like Danielle are so incredibly important to our society. They hold to account the brands that we trust so blindly, forcing them to become better and more attentive to our health; they inspire and empower others to take their health - and their lives - into their own hands; they show that out of hardship can come the greatest gifts, and, by extension, it's worth fighting onwards; and they do all of this with grace, humility and kindness. 

Danielle is now facing the biggest challenge of her life and unfortunately her insurance won't cover her through it. In order to pay for the $50,000 in anticipated expenses, she's set up a GoFundMe campaign.

Please take a moment to check out the campaign (click here to visit her campaign page), read her story and, if it works for you, donate to her cause. Just as valuable is sharing her story forward. 

Let's all send Danielle love and healing energy so that she can recover stronger than ever. This world needs our star-fish throwers! 

Danielle, if you're reading this, thank you for inspiring us more than you know. We are sending you so much love and healing energy. We know you'll get through this stronger than ever and we look forward to remaining in contact and reading your writing for decades to come.