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Meet Monique Springer of Frenchtoast81 and Cosplay4choc in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monique Springer.

Monique, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up in such a colorful family, I have always been able to express myself. Whether it was through music, acting, singing or my clothing choice. Which looking back is still a little questionable…

Nevertheless, I was always encouraged to embrace my passions and follow my dreams in which I feel that I have finally found through the art of Cosplay. To me, being able to transform into different characters is such a powerful way to show people what the world is like through my eyes. I put my heart and soul into each costume and let my imagination take flight.

Since the world of Cosplay has grown larger and larger over the years, I wanted to try to take the opportunity that I have been given and give back to the Community and help make a change. That’s why my dear friend and photographer Russell Sturtevant have created Cosplay4choc. A nonprofit origination through Instagram to help raise awareness for Choc Children’s Hospital Orange County.

Each year almost 16,000 children are diagnosed with some form of cancer in the U.S. alone. That’s 16,00 too many… This is a page where all cos-players and families are welcome to share their photos and stories to help fund those in their times of hardship. 100% of Cosplat4choc’s donations goes straight to Choc Children’s organization.

It has been the perfect platform for everyone to come together as a Community to show their talent, spread love, and fight cancer one cosplay at a time! It has been a wonderful journey, and so many friendships have bloomed. Though with it still being fairly new, we hope to go far and show the world what the Cosplay Community is really about.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have definitely some bumps in the road and in any life we all have our struggles.

My mother was my biggest fan. She always told me to never give up on my dreams and to always fight like Hell. When she passed in 2012 my world as I knew it came crashing down. Though I had love and support from my family, husband, and son, I simply stopped died inside. I had no idea how I was going to be able to live without her. It took a long time and countless tears. But I finally, I realize that she wasn’t really gone. Though she wasn’t here on Earth, she was still living on through me, through my son and through my passions. As I found myself starting to smile again and find peace, I was then diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

A widespread musculoskeletal disorder causing extreme painful sensations through the nervous system. Also causing memory loss, fatigue, and other painful symptoms. I could not believe what was happening. Now I had to learn to cope with a whole other kind of pain. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was scared. I felt defeated and alone once again. So I did this. I got up everyday. I put my pants on one leg at a time. I smiled. I played with my Son. I laughed with my Husband. I went to work. I continued to do my everyday activities. I took my life back! I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t defeated. I was a warrior!

This is my life and my journey. I can’t be afraid of it. I had to face it head on! I have my incredible Husband Landon supports my endeavors every step of the way, and we are raising our beautiful son Forrest to view the world with color and laughter, and that is stronger than any illness or heartbreak. So I will continue to keep fighting. I will push on with this journey. I will peruse my dreams, and I will live my best. Because in the end, we are all dreamers in an endless Universe.

Frenchtoast81 and Cosplay4choc – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Frenchtoast81 is my Instagram platform where I am able to express my art and creativity through Cosplay and show off my beautiful family.

I am also the founder of Cosplay4choc a non-profit organization Instagram page dedicated to help raise awareness for CHOC Children’s Hospital Orange County.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Meeting all of these wonderful people who I call family is truly and without a doubt my proudest moment. Everyone is so full of color and light. There are countless bonds and friendships that have been made. We all share the same passions and dreams.

Coming together as a family is what it’s all about for me. We must support one another. Lift each other up and encourage everyone to chase their dreams. For they really are within reach. If you believe in yourself enough, anything is possible.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Pointblankshot_photography, Portraits.n.cosplay, Photograsaurus-rex

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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