The Face of Fanm Djanm: June
Full Name: Cacsmy Brutus
Origin: Born in Brooklyn, Bred in Haiti
FD: What are the three first things you would want us to know about you?
CB: I am adventurous, I am a cancer survivor and I love food.
FD: Tell us about your story as a cancer survivor.
CB: In 2005, I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. After many clinical tests it was revealed that I had a malignant tumor in my pelvic bone. At the time I was fifteen and all I knew about cancer was that “people who have cancer die from it” so now you can only imagine. For about a year, the hospital was my new home. I was there every other week to get my chemotherapy. And it was hard, I loss lots of weight and lost my hair, but I got through every day with the love and support from family and friends. The doctors’ plan was to shrink the tumor, have a surgery to remove it then I could move on with life and be Happy Cacsmy again!!!
Well guess what? It was just the beginning. After my chemotherapy I had two options
Removing the affected bone and replace it with a metal
Get an amputation (which the surgeons thought was much safer.)
Again I was face with a dilemma and turned to family and friends for advice. After brainstorming I decided to have the hip replacement. Eventually I had to get my right leg amputated because my body rejected the metal replacement.
My teenage life has truly been a bumpy road but my loved ones made it easier. Today I wear a trophy which is my prosthetic leg. I can proudly say I have won MY battle against cancer.
Being a survivor means a lot of things, on one hand it means you are strong or lucky and the worst is over. But on the other hand it means the treatment that once saved your life may affect your health for the rest of your life. Being a survivor I sometimes find myself worrying about having cancer again in the near future but I have learned to not take life for granted, live to the fullest and appreciate the present.
FD: What do you think helped you continue to be so adventurous?
CB: The world is filled with beauty and I like to experience it through my travels. Knowing that life is unpredictable and tomorrow in not a promise makes me adventurous
FD: What are some of the most exciting places you have traveled to?
CB: I have traveled to Brazil and Costa Rica. I traveled to France and England while I was studying in Italy and most recently I backpacked for 6 months in South East Asia. I visited countries like, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. All the places I traveled to gave me a piece of happiness. What I have come to realize even more then the scenery what inspired me the most were the people I met along the way.
FD: Do you have any fashion icons, if so who are they?
CB: My most recent fashion inspiration is Solange Knowles, she is bold and colorful.
FD: You have the smoothest skin! What are your beauty secrets?
CB: My skin in very dry so I take short showers. I only wash my face with soap once a week; I usually massage with olive oil then rinse with lukewarm water.
FD: We already know you're a Fanm Djanm, which is why you're being featured. Can you tell us in your own words why you're a fanm djanm?
I am a Fanm Djanm because even when people doubt my abilities I prove them wrong. I am a fanm djanm because I am not afraid to ask for help but most importantly because I was raised by a Fanm Djanm.
FD: Do you have any advice for any younger or older girls out there reading your story?
CB: After my surgery I was left with several scars and a low self esteem. My advice for girls and women with “body issues” or should I say bodies not portrayed in mainstream media/magazines is to learn to love yourself. Find that one thing you love about yourself and embrace it. I used to be disgusted by my scars but now I know that they tell my story of survival.
FD: Where can we find you?
CB: I am on instagram: @caxmee
Photographer: Wolf Pamphile