- Model Slick Woods, 25, has not let her stage 3 melanoma diagnosis stop her from taking on the fashion world, and walked the runway just last night in a show for designer Latoioa Fitzgerald’s Lionne clothing line.
- Woods, who grew up homeless in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood, has been expressing gratitude for her family, friends and career amid her battle.
- A leading expert tell SurvivorNet how having gratitude can help a patient in coping with a cancer diagnosis.
After a long fashion event hiatus due to COVID, Woods graced the runway once again last night for Lionne clothing by Latoia Fitzgerald at Los Angeles’ historic Wilshire Ebell Theatre. NBA star James Harden, actress Karrueche Tran and actress La La Anthony were all in attendance.Read More
Then, Woods was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. Not a stranger to overcoming unfathomable challenges, the beauty continues to make her mark on the fashion world and is expressing more and more gratitude for those enhancing her life.
Sometimes, people who experience incredibly rough life experiences tend to harden, but Woods’ vivacious, no-holds-barred personality, and warm heart have only continued to thrive. Much like her drive for success, despite her diagnosis.
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Continually posting provocative photos from shoots and gracing magazine covers, the model doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. She was even recently featured on a digital billboard in New York City’s Times Square.
Woods also recently expressed her appreciation for all the positive things in her life, which is especially important while battling cancer and life can seem scary or hopeless at time.
“Thank my mom for pushing me out and dealing with everything and everyone that she had to bulldoze through and loving me more than life itself (yes that’s her handwriting on my neck from her last letter from the pen),” she wrote next to an Instagram photo with her mother, who served time in prison for most of her life. “Thank my stylist for blessings on blessings. Thank my team for coming through when there is no path. Thank my friends for being better than family.”
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Woods’ mother Vonnya-Leah Mason, was released from a manslaughter charge in February 2019. By that time, her daughter had already been discovered and was gaining momentum … and also had cancer.
“I never really had a childhood,” Woods said in a 2018 interview with The Guardian. “My mother went to prison when I was four. I was on my own.” Woods still communicated with her mother throughout the entire time of her incarceration and never turned her back on her.
Woods has a young son Saphir, whom she gave birth to in September 2018, initially going into labor while walking Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty runway show during New York Fashion Week. The baby’s dad is fellow model, thirty-year-old Adonis Bosso, who helps co-parent the little boy.
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In November 2019, after rumors about her cancer began to circulate online, Woods had confirmed that she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for stage III melanoma. She wrote, “Shout out to everybody that gotta go through it. #atleastimalreadybald.”
Treatment for Woods’ stage of melanoma, which had spread to the lymph nodes, usually starts with surgery to remove the original tumor. From there, doctors give immunotherapy or targeted therapy to reduce the odds that the cancer will come back.
“Patients with stage III disease probably have a 50/50 chance of being ‘ok’ with just a surgical resection,” Dr. Anna Pavlick, medical oncologist at Weill Cornell Medicine, told SurvivorNet in an earlier interview. “However, we now have brand new medicines, or immunotherapy medicines, that can significantly reduce their risk of it ever coming back.”
For melanoma that is in an arm or leg, sometimes doctors infuse just that limb with chemotherapy drugs. As a result of her treatment, Woods says she lost movement in both legs and one arm, and she had to temporarily rely on a wheelchair to get around. She decided to stop treatment.
Without treatment, melanoma can eventually be fatal. Once the cancer has reached the lymph nodes, as it has by stage 3, it can travel to other organs. It is unclear what the status is with Woods, but we hope to hear a positive update very soon.
Gratitude While Going Through Cancer
Not only can gratitude help you in every day life persevere through life’s challenges, but it can help immensely while going through cancer.
Dr. Zuri Murrell spoke with SurvivorNet about an eye-opening life experience that showed the power of gratitude, which he recognizes in certain patients and how they cope with cancer.
“When I went to Uganda to do a medical mission that my wife took me to, we did surgeries in conditions that here were—there were rats in the OR, there were patients that-there was one surgical tray for every case that they would sterilize old school style. Every single patient would wait hours,” he shared with SurvivorNet. “They knew we were coming and they waited days and hours for us to see them to operate on them.”
He hated when people would get back from these trips and they would say “they’re poor, but they’re happy.”
“That is wrong. Nobody’s happy hungry,” he said. “But what they are is, even if they’re poor, they live life with gratitude. And the patients who do well with cancer, they live life with that kind of gratitude, but in terms of everything.”
He says that they’re grateful for an opportunity to know that “life is finite,” and they spend their days showing love and appreciation to their families.
“Those are the patients that tend to do well with processing and also living a long, long life despite a diagnosis of, like, metastatic colon cancer disease.”
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