Street Style - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 : Day Five
HOLA! USA Interview

Powerful influencer Camila Coelho opens up to HOLA! about her battle with epilepsy and her future plans

The Brazilian-American fashion influencer is putting her health first

Camila Coelho has built her brand on sharing her fashion and beauty tips with the world since 2010, and on Monday February 10, she let the world in on a very personal secret –she has epilepsy. Her diagnosis came at the age of nine after she had a seizure while playing with a friend. Her last seizure happened 11 years ago while she was sleeping. Both experiences left her terrified not only for herself but also her loved ones. “The first seizure really traumatized me,” the Latina entrepreneur tells HOLA! USA. “It made me really sad to think about how people around me would suffer seeing me have one, especially my family.”

#BlogHer20 Health Panels©GettyImages
The Brazilian-American was diagnosed at nine with epilepsy

From her youth to now, only those closest to her knew, but after much consideration and support from her loved ones, especially her husband and business partner Icaro Brenner, Camila felt it was time to open up. “I have this huge platform; it is a responsibility for me every day to inspire and impact people in a positive way,” the blogger-turned-designer shares during a very busy New York Fashion Week. “At the same time, I was scared. I was scared to be rejected. I was scared for people to look at me in a different way.”

After much contemplation, she knew it was time to open up to her more than 15 million followers. “I kept thinking I could help so many people that go through the same journey that I have or even people who go through different things in their lives, to really accept themselves and not feel different. And to show them they are able to be whatever they want to be in their lives.”

Since revealing the news on National Epilepsy Day, her fans have been so supportive. “By sharing my story, I'm sure it's helping other people, but they're also helping me,” the Camila Coelho Collection founder says. “I've been getting so many beautiful messages, and I'm reading everything. I'm doing page prints and saving it in a folder to just keep it.”

Camila Coelho NYFW 2020©@camilacoelho
Camila wearing purple on Epilepsy Day

Looking back, it wasn’t until the Brazilian-American beauty was past her teen years to fully understand how fortunate she is. “I became more mature and found out that I was blessed to be able to just take a medicine and be okay,” Camila, who has a milder form, admits. “And the epilepsy, it's something that nobody talks about. There are more than 65 million of us in the world, one out of 26 people.”

Another big reason to reveal such a personal side is her desire to become a mother. “I always knew that I needed to plan to get pregnant because of the medicine,” she says. “It's really a big decision I need to make if I want to get pregnant on medicine or without. Either decision I have high risks. It’s been so comforting that I've heard stories of women who were on medicine and had perfect kids, and women who were off medicine and didn't have seizures and were fine.”

After meeting with her newest neurologist and discussing her options, the End Epilepsy ambassador, who will celebrate ten years of marriage this year, is confident she will welcome a little bundle into the world. “It's my dream since I was a little girl, and I love kids,” she shares with a smile. “When I think of having a baby, the first thing I think of is carrying the baby, breastfeeding and all of it. I have faith that it will happen, but in case, I don't even like to talk about it, but if that is not an option, and I have to go other ways, I will to have my baby.”

Camila Coelho husband©@camilacoelho
Camila credits her husband Icaro and her family for being extra supportive with her decision to open up

In the meantime, she has a new outlook for this year both personally and professionally. “2019 was a hard year for me mentally. I worked a lot and launched a brand; we’re working on something new as well. And then with fashion weeks, it was just a very overwhelming year,” she explains. “I made a decision that 2020 will be different and taking care of myself.”

Whether that means cutting back on attending some fashion week shows or saying no more, Camila understands it is okay to put herself first. “In the beginning, I got to a point that I was just doing too much, which I’m so grateful for, but it was exhausting,” she says. “There were days I pushed myself really hard, and I would get scared later when headaches would come on. I would then rest for a week. Now, I want to be more calm, rested. I know it’s okay to take a step back. My health is number one.”

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