Meet Nalie Agustin, motivational speaker, Youtuber, and 2 time cancer survivor. Nalie is best known for starting cancer awareness movements like #FeelItOnTheFirst for sharing her positive message on YouTube with her interview series The Nalie Show.
Nalie was first diagnosed with cancer in July of 2013, but it took her almost over a year to actually confirm she had cancer. It started with her feeling a small bump in her breast. She didn't think too much of it, but then visited her doctor for her bi-annual check up. She asked if she should be concerned about the small bump she felt, and was advised not to worry too much because she was so young, but was given a referral for an ultrasound just in case. At the time, Nalie didn't know much about the subject and assumed she had been given a referral for a mammogram. "What a lot of people don't know," says Nalie, "is that they don't normally give mammograms to women under 40. I had called to book an appointment for a mammogram and the receptionist asked me how old I was. When I told her I was 24, she told me I was too young." After being turned down for a mammogram, Nalie, thinking it wasn't too urgent, waited a few months before checking in with her doctor again. She was later informed that she needed an ultrasound and not a mammogram, which delayed the process even further. She finally made an appointment for an ultrasound, but would then have to wait months because of booking delays to complete it. She then did a mammogram, followed by a biopsy and had to wait 10 days after her appointment to receive her results. By the time it had finally been confirmed that Nalie had breast cancer, a year had already passed.
That was only the beginning of a long battle with cancer for Nalie. She went through countless rounds of chemotherapy, and later even underwent a total mastectomy of her left breast and 29 rounds of radiation. A year after her diagnosis, Nalie was officially cancer free and hit the ground running with her mission to help other women and share positivity. She started her YouTube channel, The Nalie Show, in which she interviews dozens of inspiring people that have overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams. She zeros in on her guests vulnerabilities and pasts and helps to share stories of perseverance and strength.
Nalie also started a cancer awareness movement on social media #FeelItOnTheFirst which urges women to self-examine their breasts on the first of every month, and check for lumps and irregularities that might be signs of cancer. "Early detection is key," says Nalie, "with cancer, you want to catch it early and get rid of it before it spreads. Something as simple as a self-examination could save your life."
In January of 2017, Nalie had been experiencing a deep, persistent cough and shortness of breath which ultimately led her to the emergency room. She was met with the unfortunate news that her cancer had returned, this time, in her lungs. Nalie started chemotherapy immediately, while continuing on her path of spreading positivity with her tens of thousands of followers. She took them along every step of her journey, sharing her strength on a daily basis, and inspiring fellow survivors to do the same. On May 5th, Nalie shared a video of her Pre-Chemo ritual, a clip of her dancing to French Montana's song 'Unforgettable' with the hashtag #UnforgettableDanceChallenge. The video was soon reposted by French Montana himself and accounts with millions of followers like WorldStarHipHop. On May 25th, Nalie received the news that her lungs had mostly cleared up, and that she could stop chemotherapy.
Not too long after she stopped chemotherapy, she was invited to New York City by French Montana for a screening of his new documentary "My Story, Their Reality". French had taken an interest in Nalie after seeing her video, and wanted to do what he could to make her dreams come true as best he could.
Looking forward, Nalie continues to spread the message of positivity and strength in her daily life, sharing motivational speeches internationally and basking in her newfound freedom sans chemo. Incredible doesn't begin to describe Nalie and her journey, but it's a start.