by Jude Jacob Kayton August 31, 2020
About me: I was born in Florida, but I moved around a lot for my parents’ jobs and for school. Currently, I live in the DC metro area. I’m a silver linings searcher and also a realist. I’m not afraid to look at what’s in front of me. I’ve always been active and I ran my first marathon last year.
My top fitness tip
Don’t overcommit. Don’t start out exercising 7 days a week to get results; start by incorporating a 30 minute walk. Don’t feel you have to work out like your friends do or like you see others do on social media—you need to find something that works for you. If you hate it, you won’t do it!
Right now, my job is working in the coastal resilience space. I am working to get people on board with the idea of using natural solutions, like permeable pavement, that can help prevent flooding and improve water quality by allowing water to be absorbed by the soil instead of having it run off into a stormwater system. There are ways to incorporate both economic growth and environmental conservation, for example a green space can prevent floods by absorbing rainwater during a heavy rainstorm and also be a recreational park.
One of my heroes is Dr. Sylvia Earle. She is a pioneer in ocean science and someone who has never been afraid to say yes. She really has taken every opportunity to conserve the ocean and its wildlife. She coined the term “ocean optimism” and focused on the positive things happening to protect the ocean. People often don’t want to get involved in environmentalism, because it feels overwhelmingly negative. She is a real trailblazer.
Working in Peru, Belize, and Hawaii
As a student, I traveled a lot to learn about the state of the ocean and marine life in different parts of the world. We went to Peru to see fisheries being managed locally and compared this to how we manage fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay. In Belize, we used tech solutions to improve ocean management. We flew drones over coastal mangroves to see if mangroves were being lost to deforestation. It was very hot, but it was fun!
In Hawaii, there was a lot of hands-on learning about fisheries management, specifically focused on marine populations like whales and other protected species. The choices we make to manage our fisheries have a huge impact on other species. The highlight of this trip was holding an albatross. We met with a wildlife biologist and helped to put on tracking bands on the birds. The albatross was unbelievably soft!
10 years cancer free
A little over 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with a Synovial Sarcoma. I was lucky, because we caught it early on. I had an ovarian transposition and radiation prior to the surgery to remove the tumor. I was only 15 at the time, and I remember asking the doctors if I’d still have my hair for junior prom; fortunately, I didn’t have to go through chemotherapy treatments. I was lucky to have had a “normal” school experience; I continued my studies alongside my treatment. Overall, this experience changed the rest of my life in a positive way. I say yes to more things and my approach to life is different. I believe in seizing opportunities and feel very grateful to be where I am today.
My top tip for resilience
Although every cancer journey is different, it’s important not to be afraid to talk about it. Reach out to your friends. Often, people aren’t sure what to say or how to help and that means you, the patient, have to be the one to reach out. I reclaimed a lot of my power by talking about my experience and the more I talk about it the more confident I feel.
I have issues with cystic acne, so I use DETOX ME to dry out areas of my skin that get oily. It’s my favorite product and I recommend it to everyone—it's like a spa treatment at home! I use it a few times a week. I also love RECOVER ME; it doesn’t feel heavy on my skin and my skin absorbs it really nicely. RECOVER ME and DETOX ME go really well together. I also wash my skin with PURIFY ME every day. Other than that, I’ve been switching between I AM LOVE and the new 100% Organic Argan Oil. They manage my skin’s oil production, so I break out much less. It might seem counterintuitive, but natural oils can really help regulate oily skin.
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