I’m so excited to introduce a new series I'll be sharing through blog posts and videos called "FasXinating Females". I’ll highlight inspiring people who identify as female and have kickass stories and accomplishments that are moving and uplifting.
First on the list is Shino Ito. She is the inspiration behind the newest addition to the collection, the Shino Lu wrap robe!
All of the designs in my collection are named after someone in my life who I want to honor as being a part of my life and support system. The cozy hoodie, Janey Lu, is named after my marvelous mom. The elegant camisole slip gown, Victoria Lu, is in honor of my sensational sister. The Katie Lu tank top gown is named after my darling niece. “Lu” is for my grandmother, Lucille, who sewed and made clothes tirelessly throughout her life. I feel I’m channeling her desire to design her own clothes, which she had always dreamed of doing.
The brand new Shino Lu robe is honoring a dear friend who immigrated to the US from Japan, leaving her family behind to start a new life here. Robes are often named by clothing designers as "kimonos". It is important to note that the Japanese kimono is a very special and important traditional garment that is a very specific design. It is not appropriate to call the simple wrap robes worn around the house a kimono. With the anniversary this week of the atomic bombs being dropped on Japan in 1946, it's especially important to celebrate Japanese citizens, heritage and culture.
Shino is one of those people who glows with positive vibes and you automatically feel the joy of life when in her presence. Shino knew she wanted to go to the United States since she was 12, because even at that young age, she knew there was more to life than what she could experience in Japan. At age 16, her dream came true and she left her family behind to go to school here. She has lived here ever since.
Shino has always had a passion for athletics. At age 19, she started practicing Taekwondo martial arts. While getting her masters in Computer Science and her MBA, she had less time to focus on physical activity and eventually took up running to get active again.
She started running with a friend and was convinced to run a 5k. That soon became a 10k, which led to a 1/2 marathon, then 5 marathons. “When I started running I became more confident, more of an adult, “ she says. “I was testing limits I didn’t know I had.”
In 2012, Shino was diagnosed with breast cancer. She continued to run and train after her diagnosis. “It helped with my mental state and was a form of medicine for me,” she explains.
In 2016, with her cancer in remission, Shino took on a new challenge… the triathlon. “The first time I trained in the ocean for a mile swim, I thought I was going to drown. Luckily, I had a great support system and made it through. I like to challenge my limits physically. Sometimes you need to be scared.” She has now completed 3 Olympic distance triathlons, which includes a 1.5k swim, a 40k bike ride and a 10k run.
Earlier this year, Shino found out that the cancer had returned as Stage IV breast cancer, metastasized in her hips and rib bones. She was in the midst of training for a 1/2 Iron Man race this fall. She continues to work out 6 days a week. “It’s not the same. I’m limited because of the medication. I’m keeping my fitness maintained and keep endurance to be able to go back to training once there is no active evidence of the disease.”
I marvel at Shino’s determination and strength to continue to lead her life and follow her dreams as much as is possible while in treatment. I am praying and sending healing light and vibes to Shino, and all the other beautiful women battling this unforgiving disease. In Shino’s words, “We are limitless and you don’t know unless you try. You won’t know unless you give it your all. If you don’t give everything you’ve got, you won’t know what you can achieve.”
Too many women are getting breast cancer and the public and medical focus are all on the disease of breasts and not the health. I typed in "breasthealth.org" and "breasthealth.com" and no such website exists. You can find a breast health guide from the National Breast Cancer Foundation website, but the guide is mainly about detecting and understanding cancer. Why is there so little information about the prevention of breast cancer? It has to be possible for us to learn the causes and prevent it.
I’ll be writing more about breast health as much as possible in the future. This is an important issue for all of us. There is one website I’ve found with very helpful information on the benefits of breast massage, Aromatherapy Nature's Way. I will be promoting this site and her wonderful healing massage oils for “Healthy Girls”. Joyce is another FasXinating Female to feature here!
Please take the time to learn how you can care for your breasts and hopefully avoid or heal from this devastating disease. We have to try.
Leading Lady, I Love My Nighty