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THE COURAGEOUS CLASS Q&A: LAUREN WASSER

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What message do you want to share with the world?

The message I want to shout as loud as I can is that Toxic Shock Syndrome is not rare, it's real. This has been an ongoing issue for almost 30 years and it's time for change.

How do you LOOK GOOD, FOR GOOD?

I pull my hair back, I put on a smile, and I extend my hand.

What people and/or events inspired you to do the work that you do today?

In October 2012, I almost lost my life to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). It's truly a miracle that I am alive today. My girlfriend, Jen Rovero, using her photographer as phototherapy has allowed me to still see my beauty and strength. The constant love and support from friends, family, and Jen is the reason I am modeling again and standing up for change in women's rights and women's healthcare.

What advice do you have for people trying courageously to change the world?

Never give up. Put up the fight, no matter how tough, or how long it may take you. Keep a positive attitude and keep pushing. On my journey, I hope people see me and believe that nothing is impossible because I am possible.

How can others get involved with your community?

you-are-loved.org has so much valuable information about TSS and hundreds of stories of little girls surviving TSS, as well as mothers writing their daughters’ stories because their daughters are no longer alive to tell them. Also, there is a bill called the Robin Danielson Act named after a woman who died of TSS in 1998. It's a bill that congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has tried to pass in front of congress 9 times, but has been denied every time. It’s a bill that would allow us as women to know what's going into our feminine hygiene products and what the long-term effects will have on our bodies.

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