| Kunti Benson
LAHANA AMBASSADOR: KATRINA'S JOURNEY SURVIVING CANCER
Katrina Vockler is a woman fighting peacefully, that is facing her personal journey through cancer with a genuine sense of positivity. Katrina is a Lahana ambassador for more reasons than the amazing content she creates; she is an ambassador because of her ability to stay warmed by the sun and for that warmth to be felt by everyone that comes in contact with this beauty.
Find out about Katrina's journey with Hodgkin lymphoma cancer and how that has acted as a catalyst to the life she is building for herself and the people around her.
KAT: I've always loved the Lahana bikini's and have followed them for a long time. It was entirely of out of the blue, I post a lot about my journey over my socials, and I received a message off Vrindy (the co-founder) admiring my strength. She asked me if I wanted to jump on board the LS girl gang team, and of course, I said YES. I thought this was a great opportunity, how could I say no!? Who doesn't love a good pair of quality bikini's and being able to support the Lahana team at the same time?
I loved how Lahana uses their pieces to empower woman, making them feel beautiful and confident in their bodies! So I was super grateful to have been included as part of the gang and supporting them over my social media.
LS: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your story that got you to where you are now?
KAT: I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) in 2016 at the age of 21. This news rocked me to the core, but what I didn't know then was that that day was the foundation and beginning of who I have become today. I tried a little bit of chemotherapy but knew in my heart I needed to stop and to try to heal my body naturally with an organic, plant-based diet and mind, body, spirit techniques. My love for healthy living began at this point in my life.
Unfortunately for me, I had to result back to chemotherapy at the beginning of 2018. And before starting on the treatment, I had to get a major leg operation to put a metal rod down my thigh, which was extremely painful!
Going through intense chemo throughout half of 2018 was an extremely challenging time for me. I was so sick, and I lost all my strength, energy, hair and confidence while trying to learn to walk again. Chemo strips everything good in your body, so it felt as though I had to start from scratch again. And it was HARD. But I was persistent and continued to push through my struggles with baby steps and eventually began to feel like a "new me."
Unfortunately, that chemo didn't work for me, and the treatment after was also a fail. I'm currently on a different treatment now called immunotherapy and will be for two years but thankfully for me, this treatment I'm currently on is working, and it doesn't affect any of my good cells, so I feel completely well! I have had A LOT of scares and too many setbacks throughout this journey, but at the same time, I have done a lot of inner work on myself that has built up so much strength inside me. I have a super positive mindset and an immense amount of gratitude that I am genuinely a happy soul.
KAT: Since having hit rock bottom myself and going through cancer and other personal challenges through life, I have learnt just how important leading a healthy lifestyle is. And it's not just about how much kale and broccoli we eat every day it's about the relationships you choose to surround yourself with every day, your career, spirituality and physical activity.
All of these things as a whole is what will make for a healthy, physical and mental state. I know what it's like to be in such a dark place, but I used the right tools to be able to pull myself out of that hole.
I will never take my body for granted ever again, and I will never allow anything that doesn't serve me back into my life again. I want to be able to share that with other people too. To help people out there who feel stuck that they don't have to feel that way and that there are always choices, options and different avenues to explore. We all have to start somewhere, I wasn't always strong, so if I can help others to feel the way I feel now it would make me so happy!
LS: What are some simple tips for girls out there who are trying to be more health conscious?
KAT: There are so many diets and fads out there; it's no wonder so many girls get so confused about where to start. I live a plant-based lifestyle, and I love it. My main tips are to eliminate processed foods and sugar. Create your own homemade treats, so you know exactly what's in them whenever you get a sweet craving or find HEALTHIER options because these days there are so many. Eat WHOLE FOODS, and drink your water and move your body.
Experiment with what works best for you, whether that's walking or running, weights or cardio, yoga do what's right for you. You don't have to follow what everyone else is doing. Practise gratitude journalling because it's such a mood booster! And be selective with who you give your energy to. When it comes down to it, it doesn't have to be complicated.
LS: What are your plans & dreams for the future?
KAT: I have sooo many dreams and plans for the future! I'm currently studying Integrative Nutrition, which sets you up to be a Health Coach. I want to be able to help and inspire others out there. I also want to write and publish my own books and build up my blog website that has been for my cancer updates, which I'm starting to use it to share healthy tips and recipes.
I still have a lot of travelling I want to do once I'm cancer free and I would loooveee to travel to Scotland, NZ and around AUS. And I cannot wait to have a family and home of my own one day. All in good time though, I know haha. I am continually writing out all these dreams and goals and manifesting them. I've even created a vision board that sits up on my dressing table that I like to stare at every day! Three years of battling cancer really puts things into perspective for you haha.
You can follow Katrina's journey more closely and to try her epic recipe's here.
We hope you feel just as inspired hearing Katrina's story as we do here at the Lahana HQ. Her unwavering commitment to her health and happiness is a gentle wake up call to us all to live fully and love wholeheartedly.