The first time I met Reshma Gopaldas, vice president of video programming for SHE Media, we were at a dinner in New York for female “influencers” (*hard eye roll*) and immediately started talking about our boobs. I’d recently had a scare: An ultrasound on my right breast detected a small lump that looked “kinda funky” ― and I needed a biopsy to determine what the heck it was. After a few nerve-wracking days, I found out it was benign. But the fear of the C-word was palpable.
Reshma, now four years into her breast cancer journey, was diagnosed at just 35 years old. As her brother put it, her breasts were “doomed” from the start: A few months earlier, their cousin had received a breast cancer diagnosis, and before that, Reshma’s mother and aunt had battled the disease.
Not long after our dinner, Reshma wrote a beautiful, hilarious piece in Coveteur about her story — an attempt to tackle the C-word scaries head-on.
You see, this woman is really funny. Like, tears-rolling-down-your-face, snot-from-your-nose, get-told-to-“shush”-at-a-restaurant kind of funny. And she’s been using her platform at SHE Media to help defuse the fears we associate with cancer.
This month, she’s taking the stage in Los Angeles at the #BlogHer19 conference, which features a plethora of A-list influencers (I know, I know) to raise awareness on our collective health. The theme of this year’s BlogHer is celebratory: Highlight women who’ve used its platforms to put self-care and wellness front and center, like “The Good Place” star Jameela Jamil, whose #iWeigh account has taken companies and celebrities to task for promoting irresponsible diet “tips,” and actress Alyssa Milano, whose advocacy against gun violence has caught the ire of the likes of National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch.
For her part, Reshma — who had an all-clear mammogram in November — says she will be using her moment on stage to talk honestly about her experience … like how important it is to have a “boob squad” to lift you up when your post-radiotherapy/surgery wireless bras don’t.