Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Rosales.
Hi Megan, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am the founder of Your Body Your Story, which is a start-up fundraising organization! Nearing the age of twenty-eight, born and raised in San Gabriel Valley, and I have always felt so lucky to live here. My husband and I have been married for 5 years, together for 10, not quite high school sweethearts but close! We have 2 beautiful, imaginative kids plus 2 cats.
The motivation behind starting Your Body Your Story has mostly been my own life experience.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at nine years old and pretty quickly realized how isolating this disease could be. Not very many people knew then, or know now, what Type 1 diabetes is or why it happens. I felt misunderstood and judged pretty often, people wrongly assumed I was diabetic because of my diet. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and the cause is yet to be definitively determined – but try explaining that as a nine years old. On top of those experiences, it was rare to even find a doctor that actually understood the disease.
Appointments always included a lot of fear tactics and negative attitude, rather than empathy or any attempt to understand the diseases impact on my body specifically. It was “This always works, you must be lying”, when in reality this disease impacts each person differently, and it will constantly need adjustments. All that to say; I needed to either find or build a community where I felt heard and could help others feel the same. My best friends little brother was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes a few years after me, and their mom was constantly involved in community fundraisers and sports leagues. I basically lived with them half of the year, so I was able to join them as a volunteer and learn about different avenues of service. My cousin and her family were also enthusiastically involved in different charities, which always inspired me. I went on to create my first fundraising team back in 2012 through a JDRF Fundraiser Walk at Dodger Stadium. We raised over $1000 and built a team to go walk and raise money for diabetes research. I really never stopped from there. Whenever I had time and could muster the resources, I would raise money for Diabetes research.
Most recently with Your Body Your Story, I wanted to do more than raise money. At the very beginning of Lockdown, I was laid off from my job and we were already recovering from financial issues. It was a Friday and Nicole Alvarez from KROQ had tweeted that she was giving away money to those that needed some help. My insulin prescription needed to be refilled really soon, and that was going to cost over $400 (with insurance). I decided to reach out and explain a little of my story to her. Almost immediately she arranged to send me almost the FULL amount needed to refill all of my meds and supplies. Right then, I knew I had to pay it forward. I began reaching out to collaborate with small businesses and found some profoundly talented people that work with me to create and sell products for our organization.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
When I started Your Body Your Story, I worked very hard to reach out and got very lucky. Friends and family donated to help me fund my website and some initial inventory. Creatives donated their time and designs, we were able to really hit the ground running with our first fundraiser. Since then, we are still very supported but struggle with expanding our exposure. I am actively working towards establishing our business and building a catalog of items that clarify our mission. This truly is only the beginning, I can only assume bumpier roads lie ahead. Though I must say we have built a very trustworthy circle, all with the intention of helping improve the lives of the chronically ill community.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Your Body Your Story is an organization that is focused on amplifying the voices and easing the financial burden of those within the Invisible/Chronic Illness Communities. I work specifically with small businesses and individual artists to create and sell items from which our profits are donated. The money is donated to families or individuals in need of financial assistance to purchase medicine or medical supplies that keep them alive. This could be anything from Insulin and Syringes to an epi-pen. I collaborate with these small businesses in hopes of expanding their reach and increasing their sales. I believe collaborative work will only benefit us all in the long game. Each of us has a desire to help these misunderstood communities that are trapped in the healthcare system, working together helps us reach and surpass these goals even faster!
The core mission is to make you feel heard, believed, and confident enough to share your story. Confident enough to ask for help or understanding from those around you. With each unique item we create, the hope is to inspire. What sets us apart is our values. I want each person involved to benefit from this organization and for nobody to feel taken advantage of. We will constantly change and improve on how to raise money most efficiently in order to help as many people as possible. I am extremely proud that we have already helped five different families to purchase the medicine they needed. Even if we can only offer small relief, to ease the burden at all will always be the goal. We’ve collaborated with six businesses and have the next few months booked! There are special items that will consistently be available on our website, as well as exclusive limited items. We have everything from unisex apparel to professional photo prints. There will always be a new way for you to help and donate!
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
The biggest thing is to prepare backup plans. There will always be someone who backs out of helping or a website that crashes on your launch day. Don’t take these events as a sign to give up, accept them as common challenges you will most likely face again. Establishing a brand is something I wish I knew a little more about, in the sense that you want people to understand your mission from the jump. It’s taken a little extra explaining for some to understand our mission, and although worth the effort, perhaps could have been avoided.
- Minimum of 30% , up to 70% profits are donated
- Email: Admin@yourbody-yourstory.org
- Website: www.yourbody-yourstory.org
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/yourbody_yourstory_org
- Twitter: @BodyOrg
Sebastian Garcia took some of these images as well as helped me create the “Insulin for All” illustration. Angela Talamantes is my accompanying model as well as the illustrator of the blue journal design.