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by Gabrielle Union

It’s been a little over a week since I lost a treasured 20plus year member of my crew…Kristen Martinez died peacefully June 16th at 2:15pm in the arms of her mother and surrounded by her family, friends and her amazing, loving boyfriend Kyle.

At the age of 31, Kristen was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. While she knew wasn’t going to beat her diagnosis, she was determined to live life fully and try everything possible to extend her time with us. She more than succeeded. She became a fierce activist and strong voice for young women living with metastatic disease and she took her fight all the way to the white house…she couldn’t be stopped.

She definitely had her ups and downs with her battle, but never once did she give up hope or her belief that positivity goes a long way in ANY of life’s struggles. I was lucky enough to be able to get back to NYC to see her when her health began to fail and spend some quality time with her. When I asked her what she wanted me to tell the world through this blog post…she said in a tiny whisper of a voice…

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‘Tell them to not let fear take away their dreams. I let fear keep me from getting checked out until it was too late. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what’s right. Don’t let fear turn you into an asshole. Don’t let fear determine the kind of person you’ll become. Fear is a motherfucker Nick…’ Most of my close friends and fam call me ‘Nickie’ btw…But her message hit me like a ton of bricks. How many times have I let my fear of judgement, of ridicule, or failure stop me from following my dreams…the answer was clear…WAY TOO MANY TIMES!!!

So please…take Kristen’s advice and follow her example when faced with her dire diagnosis…Live your life without regrets…don’t succumb to fear…stay positive in the face of adversity…don’t pass judgement, don’t ridicule, don’t hate…LIVE!! LOVE!! LAUGH!! RIP Kristen Martinez…you are missed…you are loved…and your legacy will live on in all of us.

-Gabrielle

 

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