Last year, in the prime of her life and modeling career, 25-year-old Langley resident Elly Mayday was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. The diagnosis sent her into a whirlwind of surgeries and very harsh rounds of chemotherapy, as she fought for her life.
In those difficult times, she remembers getting a chemo comfort bag from friends, full of thoughtful items like a hand-knitted toque for her bald head, hard candies to alleviate ‘metal mouth’ and written words of encouragement.
“I had some great friends who gave me one and I loved it so much I wanted to pay it forward,” said Mayday.
Langley’s Forever Yours Lingerie and Mayday have teamed up during Ovarian Cancer awareness month (September) to create chemo comfort bags for those undergoing chemotherapy.
Mayday has been Forever Yours’ star model in past years, and even did some modeling for them during her treatments, gaining her international attention after doing a photo shoot in only a sports bra and underwear. In the picture there is no air brushing, just Mayday looking bald and beautiful, cancer scars and all. From that poignant ad, Mayday went on Good Morning America and spoke with media across the world about her way of turning the modeling world on its head.
“We wanted to provide something tangible for people who are currently fighting cancer. Elly shared with us some of the things that helped her get through her treatment and here we are, building chemo comfort bags,” said Sonya Perkins, Forever Yours Lingerie co-owner.
The Langley-based lingerie store is happy to accept cash donations to purchase items for their chemo comfort bags. They are also looking for words of encouragement — a short note or card with words of support to include with each bag, and knit or crocheted toques. They request that the hats be made with soft materials because they are going on bald heads.
The goal is to make up to 500 bags, said Mayday. The campaign is being called Fight Like A Girl.
The comfort bags will include a comfortable blanket, hand-made hats, journal, thermal cup, movie passes, lip balm, body lotion, handwritten cards/letters, warm socks and candy to alleviate metal mouth caused by chemo.
These bags will be given to both male and female cancer patients in Langley.
Ovarian cancer has been dubbed the silent killer since the signs and symptoms can be difficult to detect.
Mayday is a survivor but she will have future cancer treatments. She is currently modeling in New York.
Donations and letters will be accepted at Forever Yours, 20460 Fraser Highway, seven days a week.
In the prime of her life, and busy with modeling and all the fun life brings at 24, Mayday was diagnosed with a cancer that usually strikes older woman. Since her diagnosis, Forever Yours has helped raise funds for her treatment and recovery.
“She underwent numerous operations, and thankfully, she is still here with us – however, it is still a fight for her,” said Perkins. Mayday is a survivor but she will have future cancer treatments.
But she is choosing to live life to the fullest while still giving back.
She is currently modeling in New York. She has a popular Facebook fan page and is putting out another model calendar this year, with partial proceeds going to the comfort bags.
They are all hoping the community can get behind helping those in Langley going through chemotherapy.
Donations and letters will be accepted at Forever Yours, seven days a week. Or words of support can be mailed to:
Attn: Fight Like A Girl
Forever Yours Lingerie
20460 Fraser Hwy