Wellbeing biography: Diana Banzon

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Hello Marquette employees! My name is Diana Banzon and I am a sophomore studying Public Relations and Marketing. I was originally born in the Philippines, but moved to Rochester, Minnesota at the age of 2, which is where I currently call home. Words can’t express my excitement for joining a team that promotes overall health and wellness. I am whole-heartedly honored to be representing an organization that holds strong beliefs toward achieving the hope to inspire others in a life long journey to living the best life they possibly can. It is a mindset that is applicable to anyone, sometimes you just need a little motivation to get on the right track.

The importance of health played a significant role in my community growing up back at home, due to living in the same city where the world-renowned hospital of the Mayo Clinic’s original headquarters resides. It was convenient during times when I needed medical attention, which unfortunately, was often when I was younger. One day, I was shopping at my city’s local mall when I decided to throw my hair up in a ponytail. My brother immediately pointed out that I had a significant bald patch that extended from my left side wrapping its way around to the back of my head. When I finally had access to a mirror, I was in immediate tears. I had never felt so ugly in my life, knowing that my current state of health was reflecting the way I looked on the outside. Immediately, my mom scheduled a visit to the doctor, where she eventually came to the conclusion that I was suffering with a condition called Alopecia, which is when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.

Hearing the validation through the diagnosis of the condition made it feel very real. She eluded that the cause was still considered to be uncertain, but has been clinically linked to stress. I connected the potential cause to some bullying that I was experiencing at school during my early years as a child. It made finding myself beautiful, when I had no self- confidence or self-love to begin with, near impossible, especially with finding out about my current state of health that affected my physical appearance.

I knew that there needed to be change. I discovered a more untraditional approach to the idea of wellness, that many seem to disregard, or simply just find it to be superficial. It went back to how I viewed myself. I started to style my hair and really made an effort to make myself feel beautiful through the process of putting myself together every morning before school. Most importantly, I made an effort to no longer let the disease define me. That was when I finally started seeing results. It genuinely translated through my newfound self-confidence, and the way I dealt with the bullying to have it never let it get to me again. My hair eventually all grew back and I beat my Alopecia.

It just goes to show that everyone’s journey to a state of health and well-being differs because there are so many components that contribute to it, aside from solely just exercise and diet. I am by no means a full expert when it comes to health. I am a normal college student who goes through those unhealthy, late night cravings and disregards sleep when it comes to procrastination to eagerly get my homework done. Despite this, you are never too late to recover by setting aside priorities that provoke stress, and focus on yourself and what makes you happy. Taking the first step to do so, has the potential to inspire self-assurance that can open the doors to greater success. Personally, getting myself all dolled up for the day and picking out an outfit that gives me confidence translates well into my overall happiness and performance in everything I do. What’s yours?

My wellness journey has only begun. Join me in continuing to find new ways to maintain and inspire others throughout this process to overall health and well-being. It doesn’t have to be done alone because we are striving for the same goal and we all in this together as a team!

Diana Banzon

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