'There's no shame': Korean beauty blogger Dawn Lee shares cancer journey to break down stigmas

The social media star has been documenting her health struggles in a bid to comfort those in similar situations

Beauty blogger Dawn Lee was diagnosed with lymphoma in February. Dawn Lee / YouTube
Beauty blogger Dawn Lee was diagnosed with lymphoma in February. Dawn Lee / YouTube

When she was diagnosed with cancer in February, Dawn Lee wasn't sure, at first, if she'd share her experience with her fans.

However, the South Korean beauty blogger has since chosen to embrace her health struggles and open up about her journey, hoping her candid videos will offer some solace to those also fighting the disease.

"I realised there were people who took courage from my story, that really cheered me up," the 29-year-old told the BBC this week. "Seeing someone in the same situation as you is such a big comfort."

Lee, who has been sharing videos and make-up tutorials on her YouTube channel for more than five years, was diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, earlier this year.

She has documented her battle with the disease in detail, taking her 630,000 subscribers along to chemotherapy treatments, and sharing her hair loss experience.

"At first I thought of filming with wigs to hide the cancer, then I thought, 'why am I hiding it'? There is no shame," she told the BBC.

A moving video in which Lee shaved her head has garnered more than 4.3 million views, with thousands of fans sending their support and well wishes in the comments.

Lee has offered advice to others also fighting cancer, sharing beauty tutorials tailored for women suffering with the loss of hair and eyelashes.

The global reaction to her story has in turn inspired Lee, who is still receiving treatment, in her fight.

"So many people have expressed their support, far more than I expected," she said. "It has really helped me control my mind, pretending to be strong. If you stay strong, that’s how you can get through it."

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Published: August 5, 2019 11:06 AM

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