Welcome back to the JRAZZ Spotlight. This month, we’re speaking with Brooke Kotrla, JRAZZ Collection Brand Ambassador, dancer, and inspiration.
JRAZZ Spotlight: Brooke, those who follow you on Instagram know of your battle with brain cancer. We are amazed by the sense of peace and gratitude. What should our readers know about you?
Brooke: Tons of people ask me how I can stay so positive with just being diagnosed with brain cancer. My main way to explain my peace and gratitude is one word- God. He has guided me to the right places and people to keep me strong. I won’t lie and say having cancer is easy. A lot of the time it causes me stress and anxiety about my future, but I have to trust God’s plan and let Him guide me. I feel beyond grateful for my family, friends, and doctors who have literally gone above and beyond to help save my life. My tumor is still large but slowly it is getting smaller. So far, I have had an awake craniotomy(surgery), proton radiation, and I am now on a year of chemo. I trust in God’s plan and no matter what I need to remain thankful. I could easily be down all the time, but I don’t think life should be lived in fear or anxiety. “There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4
Spotlight: Dance has been a big part of your life. Can you give our readers some insight on the importance of dance to your circle of friends and your personal energy?
Brooke: Dance has been the sport I grew up on. Many friends are dancers because I spent most of my life in dance class and on dance teams. Dance is athletic but it also is beautiful art. My dancer friends are some of the hardest workers I know. They go all out. If you don’t care enough to put your whole effort into something, then just move on. My friends and teams have shown me that hard work and a positive spirit can help you accomplish anything.
Spotlight: You recently received support from Dancers Against Cancer. What’s the group about?
Brooke: Dancers Against Cancer (DAC) is an amazing organization which financially supports dancers with cancer. Having cancer is expensive. Insurance will take care of some things but some of it has to be from your own funds. They are based in Los Angeles and have a ton of celebrity support! Anyone can help out Dancers Against Cancer by donating or having a fundraiser though. In fact, one of their main areas of support is from partnerships with local dance studios across the country. Check them out at https://www.imadanceragainstcancer.org
Spotlight: You recently traveled and showed yourself to be fit and active just after a round of chemotherapy. What’s your secret to overcoming obstacles?
Brooke: Chemotherapy makes me feel horrible but a few days after it’s over it works its way out of my system and I feel good enough to workout, travel, dance, and do school. My treatment makes me very tired, but I don’t let it control me. I try to eat healthy as well and have incorporated some additional vitamins and herbs in my daily diet. My favorite thing to do is go to tropical locations. I have been working out with bodyweight exercises because I can’t lift weight due to head pressure. Just staying active is my best way to stay healthy. Cancer is an obstacle but it’s just part of who I am now.
Spotlight: What can our readers do to support you in your battle with cancer?
Brooke: The best way to support me is to raise awareness for young adults with cancer. It’s hard being diagnosed at a young age. In your 20s you think you’re unstoppable and can do anything until something crazy happens. Young adults need more research, funds, and money to fight cancer. If you know someone with cancer of any age don’t be afraid to talk to them about it and be supportive. It means more to people than you might think. And finally, always be generous to extend grace and kindness to people because you never what they might be going through!
Thanks, Brooke. You are such an inspiration!
Follow Brooke on Instagram @brookekotrla https://www.instagram.com/betterbybrooke/
Brooke Leggings (CLICK HERE)