As a fashion designer and celebrity stylist, Ola Hawatmeh is in the business of making women feel confident. But when the New York native, now residing in St. Louis, was diagnosed with breast cancer last December, that mission took on a whole new meaning.
“I was devastated to find out my biopsy was positive for breast cancer,” she says. But after undergoing surgery in February and staying strong through several months of recovery, she was grateful to be cancer-free – and passionate about giving back.
“I felt that I had to create something to give all these breast cancer survivors like myself their confidence back,” she says. “So I called Susan G. Komen and said, ‘I am a fashion designer, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I want to help style your clients and see what events we can do together.’ The director said, ‘Wait a second – we’re here to help you,’ but I said, ‘I don’t want anyone to feel pity for me – I want to feel confident again.’”