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My name is Zoe Marshall, I'm an over sharer and media personality. 

Inspiring fan of KYW: Em Tropea

Inspiring fan of KYW: Em Tropea

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I really love learning about YOU all. The fans of KYW and the friends I have over social media (

especially

 the ones I have never met) 

really inspire me to keep writing even when I think "Is this connecting with anyone? Does anyone actual read this?"

I always take a little sneak peek into your profiles and see who all these incredible people are. One day I was having a browse and I found a young woman whose journey really blew me away.

If you didn't know Em Tropea you would think she has a blessed life, she is a model from NSW with a handsome boyfriend and the world at her feet. The truth is we can never judge what we think someone has been through. You would have no idea that only a few years ago Em had so many debilitating diseases and an enormous hunched back she couldn't even lead a normal life.

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Em was 14 when she was diagnosed with 

 Scoliosis, Schuermann’s disease and Grave’s disease amongst many other awful conditions.

She still suffers with the effects that these diseases had on her body,  the hump may be gone but the rods in her back which are correcting her spine will make her suffer from severe pain for the rest of her life.

She told me "I’m not going to lie it was hard, especially when I was in a wheelchair. I was so used to being independent and then I had to rely on my mum and the nurses for everything and I mean everything, I couldn't even go to the toilet on my own. Losing my independence was particularly hard for me."

Ems hardest moment throughout it all was when 

she woke up from her spinal operation "I was laying flat on my back and I completely freaked out,  I was in agonising pain, I tried to move. I thought if I could move the pain may settle but the doctors and nurses had to pin me down. I was so distressed, more than I ever had been in my life. The look on my parent’s faces was heartbreaking. Especially my Dads, to see such a strong man become broken has really left its mark on me."

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"I got to learn from a very young age that the people who are with you during the hardest times in your life, are the ones that are important. I feel like I learned very quickly what matters most in life and how precious it is."

After multiple surgeries and much healing Em fulfilled a dream when she appeared on Australia's Next Top Model.

"The best part about that experience was spending time with Charlotte Dawson, she was and always will be one of my greatest idols. I have so much admiration for her. When I heard the news about her passing I literally burst into tears. She was such an amazing woman."

Em was asked to give an award to Charlottes family, at the 2014 Astra Awards. "Trying not to break down was so difficult I even told the lady behind the stage that I couldn't follow through with it but she gave me a tissue and kindly told me to pull myself together. I did of course. I had to do it for Charlotte".

"To be on ANTM was such a surreal experience only a few years beforehand I was watching from a hospital bed and now I was on the show."

Em made a list of goals when she was recovering from her surgeries and put them up next to her hospital bed, on the list was..

1

st

 Get better

2

nd

 Get Healthy

3

rd

 Practise Modelling

4

th

 Be in Australia’s Next Top Model

5

th

 Be signed with a modelling agency

6

th

 Meet famous models

7

th

 Be Famous my self.

She blames the morphine for a couple of the goals but has achieved almost all them already.

Her adversity has changed her  "I am a much stronger and more out-going person now. I know for a fact nothing and no one will ever hold me back from my dreams. All of my scars have taught me to love my body even more because they make me who I am. I have no shame in what I went through. I think it's a gift that I can share my story to others and maybe help or inspire them to keep going".

Em is now a healthy ambitious model with the focus on building her portfolio, she is madly in love and her life has become what she longed for all those years ago. Em has literally taken her pain and 

made it into something truly beautiful.

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Stop female genital mutilation.

Stop female genital mutilation.

Dance like nobody's watching

Dance like nobody's watching