As far too many people know, cancer can devastate both the body and families of the people it strikes. It can be debilitating and scary and tears people away from their everyday lives.
However, some patients are refusing to let cancer take away anything else.
Meet Amanda Ramirez from Compton, California.
The 22-year-old, who boasts an impressive 30.6k Instagram followers, has always had a passion for makeup — and she frequently posts photos of her looks online.
So, when she was diagnosed with lymphoma over the summer, she continued to put effort into her daily looks.
"When you put makeup on, it enhances how you feel and makes you feel better about yourself," she told People Magazine. "When I first got diagnosed I was in the hospital for an entire month, and within that time I felt like I needed my makeup with me because I started to feel bland."
So, Ramirez started putting on makeup every day during her time in the hospital.
Applying eyeliner might not seem critically important, but it was a nice constant during uncertain times.
"When you’re going through surgeries, it's something crazy and different every day," she said. "That’s why I prefer to do my makeup through chemo — it makes me feel better."
...Not to mention it made her look fabulous.
Wearing makeup even helped the 22-year-old preserve some of her identity.
"I want to feel like myself. When people get sick they cower, and it makes them feel like less of a person," she explained. "Some people drown in sadness, and I don't want to be like that."
So, she threw herself into this new life experience with the same energy (and glam) as usual.
"I was like, 'This is part of who I am now, so why not just embrace it?'" she told the magazine. "I think vulnerability is a beautiful thing because when you're vulnerable, people can relate. I wanted my Instagram to be a safe space where if they’re going through something I can uplift them."
Ramirez enjoys connecting with women who are inspired by her posts.
"I know that through this, I'm able to help somebody feel better," she said. "I get so many messages from women that have cancer telling me that seeing the way I do my makeup [inspires them]."
She even has volunteer plans once her treatment is over.
"After everything I’m going to volunteer at City of Hope," she said. "They have this program where you can teach cancer patients how to do their makeup, so I’m really excited about that."