Published by FLARE Magazine
As a child, Laurie Dion would spend hours preparing for her figure skating competitions. The hair, the makeup, the dress… all of it had to be just right. Back then, Dion couldn’t anticipate that her burgeoning interest in beauty and fashion would garner the attention of a massive online audience—or that it would help her cope after she was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer.
At 20, Dion was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour known as glioblastoma. The American Brain Tumor Association says this type of cancer has a median survival rate of just over a year, and only 10 per cent of patients survive five years or longer. The doctors gave Laurie 18 months. That was five years ago.
“Prior to falling ill I had a fashion blog, and after falling ill I decided to start making YouTube videos instead,” she says. “I had always wanted to [create vlogs], so I thought, ‘It’s now or never!’ I also figured it would be a good idea to start making videos so that, if ever I were no longer a part of this world, my close ones could have a nice souvenir to remember me by—one that also reflects my passions.”
But the vlog hasn’t just been a hobby—Montreal-based Dion says maintaining it has been integral to her well-being throughout the cancer treatments. “After publishing a video which explained my story, I received an enormous amount of support from people that understood what I was going through. It felt as though I had less on my shoulders. It was like a therapy session with my psychologist, so I decided to continue sharing my life with my subscribers. They are so empathetic that they make me feel supported through a computer screen,” she says.
Read the full story on FLARE Magazine’s website!