Courageous Class Spotlight: Dayna Christison

Model Dayna Christison has a contract with Major Models in NYC and is a former Kenneth Cole intern. She’s also an activist, crafter, and creator. Here, she talks to us about her battle with cancer and her courageous mission to empower others and build awareness about lymphoma.

Tell us about your mission in life.

My mission in life is to help and inspire others while staying true to myself and my own happiness.

What was your biggest challenge getting to where you are today?

Definitely the two stem cell transplants I had. Both procedures were done with my own cells, which can be easier than using someone else’s cells, but the process as a whole was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through in my life. I was in the hospital for about a month after being infused with a chemo that demolished everything in my body. I was then brought back to life with my stem cells and had a “second birthday,” as they call it in the hospital. I’d love to say that it was really a meditative time, being in solitude for about a month, but chemo puts you in a haze that prevents you from really thinking or focusing on anything. My last transplant was around this time last year and I only started feeling like myself again, mentally, a few months ago.

What does the word “courageous” mean to you?

Stepping out of one’s comfort zone to stand up and fight for what you are passionate about or believe is right.

What’s your proudest moment/biggest achievement?

Probably signing on to Milk’s campaign to launch Milk Makeup. It’s so exciting to be a part of a new launch or product because it’s so tender and new. Everyone put a little something of themselves into the entire project, which made it really special and memorable.

What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

When I was in college, studying abroad, a group of my friends and I were told we were going to be evicted from our student housing, leaving us out of an apartment in London halfway through the semester. My friend and I went through our contract and found out they couldn't evict us for the reasons they presented. We gathered this information, stood up to the housing director, and got to stay.

Do you have a personal motto you live by?

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.