Meet the Models: Marie Grgic

March 12, 2024

Presented by RBC Wealth Management, Wellspring’s Well Dressed for Spring is a fashion event like no other. Hosted by Canadian fashion icon Jeanne Beker on March 27, 2024, the evening features models who have been touched by cancer, either having been diagnosed themselves or as a caregiver to someone with cancer. For more info, visit: https://give.wellspring.ca/event/welldressed

When Marie visited her doctor for a routine heart checkup, she didn’t expect to be walking away with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Marie used to joke with her husband that she had “Picasso boobs,” because one was relatively smaller than the other. “I didn’t really think much of it. I thought it was just a matter of getting older – losing and gaining weight,” Marie says.

Marie was initially diagnosed with stage 2 lobular cancer in November 2022. Following a mastectomy, surgeons found the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and updated her diagnosis to stage 3.

Thankfully, having finished her chemo, radiation, and medications, Marie is now in recovery. However, her biggest challenge has been dealing with confidence issues while trying to be a good role model for her kids – Aaliyah and Dino and the best version of herself for her loving husband, Joe.

“It’s like losing a limb, and it has been incredibly hard. I started to develop anxiety and spiraled into a pretty dark place, particularly in public settings. I was struggling with my confidence and femininity. I didn’t look like myself, I couldn’t wear things that I would normally wear. Even intimacy – I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin,” she says.

Struggling with bouts of anxiety about her appearance, she couldn’t help but think about the message it was sending to Aaliyah. “I would think, as women, are we only defined by what we look like, or are we defined by who we are as a whole? You must ask yourself what kind of legacy you want to leave behind. If you tell your kids to be themselves and to be confident in themselves, you have to walk the walk. I might be missing my hair and a boob, but I’m still here!”

Shortly after her diagnosis, Marie says Wellspring’s online programs helped to pull her out of her darkest times and regain her confidence. “Cancer can be a very lonely road. Wellspring has been the greatest resource, particularly emotionally and mentally with being able to connect with other people who are going through the same things.”

Luckily for Marie, she had a wonderful role model as a mother. “Even though she lost her own battle with uterine cancer, she was always so positive and happy. She’d say, ‘You can have the pity party, you can cry, but in the end, you get up and you pull yourself together and you keep being you and living life.’”

Marie is walking the Walk of Hope runway for Well Dressed for Spring in memory of her mother, and to show everyone that cancer hasn’t stolen her confidence. “I want to show my kids that I feel like myself and feel good again. That means saying to my cancer, ‘No. You’re not going to take my life and take who I am.’ That’s the only way to do it.”

“Your diagnosis doesn’t have to be a life sentence. You can still LIVE. This is living,” says Marie.

Marie is walking in Wellspring’s 2024 Well Dressed for Spring Event. 

Donate to Marie’s Fundraiser

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