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Holland hopes to inspire women

Cancer survivor uses her second chance at life to live her dreams, spread positive energy
Sophomore L’lori Holland uses the insight gained from her battle with cancer to inspire other women. Holland is a survivor of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), a rare condition. Contributed photo.

Virginia State University students come from different walks of life. Each student has their own story riddled with obstacles, achievements, peaks and valleys. Sophomore L’lori Holland’s journey involves battling cancer, divorce and life as a student.

“I remember sitting in class one day and it felt like someone was hitting my head with a hammer I just couldn’t explain it,” Holland said.

Holland and her mother went to the hospital to figure out the issue.

“I remember my nurse walking in and he was like ‘your daughter has cancer’ and walked out the room. I remember turning to my mom and she was visibly in shock and I was in shocktime really stopped.”

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Within hours, a painful headache was found out to be Langerhans cell Histiocytosis.

“I was diagnosed when I was 12aka LCH for short back then it was such a rare form. I was thankful I didn’t have to go through chemo,” Holland said.

“I have a small plate located on the left side of my skull, my little buddy.”

The cancer diagnosis flipped the Holland family’s world upside down. Even though this difficult time, Holland endured bullying from students at her school.

“I had staples across my foreheadI had to get used to loving myself in a new light and seeing myself differently” Holland said.

Cancer, surgeries and bullying couldn’t stop Holland’s fiery optimism.

“From that moment on, I didn’t see life as an adversity or anything, I just saw it as another chance to just keep pushing,” Holland said.

“I always strive for greatness, and I think that’s the biggest takeaway from what I went through. I’m meant to be here for a reason I have to keep rising above.”

At 26, Holland has had her fair share of trials and tribulations. She wants to use her wisdom and life experience to help young women going through similar situations.

“Mental health is very important. After my divorce, I had to mentally get myself together,” Holland said.

“I’ve been through so much already in my life. Childhood cancer over, been through a divorce, it’s just another thing that added another layer to my onion.

Holland uses her second chance at life to live her dreams and spread positive energy and light throughout her journey.

“I am energetic; I’m a ball of energy,” Holland said.

“It’s been my dream to graduate. I had a little set back because life be life-ing so it was important for me to finish as a present to myself I didn’t wanna feel like I was holding myself back and preventing myself from doing great things,” Holland said.

Holland constantly advocates for women to understand and take their health seriously.

“It’s important as Black women to take care of our temples. If no one else is gonna care, we should care more about ourselves a little bit more,” Holland said.

“You know your body better than anybody, so if you feel like something is wrong, don’t hesitate to let somebody know it’s important to take care of your body because you only get one.”

L’lori Holland’s story is one of triumph and perseverance. Through setbacks and hard times, she has the grit to push through any obstacle and come out on top.

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