EL PASO, Texas-- Pretty tough. Those exact words were written on a card the week Deonna Wade, a local artist, was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis. And it was those two simple words that helped her cope with her diagnosis. She’s hoping those words can help other women in our community overcome challenges as well.
"When I was diagnosed with MS in 2017 I wrote on my mirror, 'pretty tough',” said Wade.
For her, being diagnosed with MS was challenging, but she did not want this diagnosis to define her.
“When I found out about that I realized that I was a strong woman and I was going to use that disease to encourage and inspire other people,” said Wade.
Through the first stages of her MS diagnosis, Wade picked up the hobby of hand lettering. This new hobby was a distraction from Dr. visits, shots and any pain she suffered from her MS diagnosis.
“I did it for several years and I kinda wanted to figure out a way to use my talent to share my faith and to inspire other people,” said Wade.
She decided to to use her new hobby to hand paint the words, 'Pretty Tough' on the back of a jacket. That jacket was the beginning of her 'Pretty Tough Jacket' Photo series. The concept behind the series is to feature inspiring women who are overcoming battles of their own through a series of photos throughout the year.
“The first girl that we featured is a little girl named Lydia and her mom Liz. I actually met them a year ago when Lydia was diagnosed with cancer," said Wade, "I did one for the mom too because when you’re a mom and there’s something wrong with your child, that is one of the worst things that you can go through as a parent. So, the mom is just as tough as her daughter.”
Through this photo series, Wade will also incorporate women owned businesses who will donate their talents to help create a beautiful memory for the strong women showcased in the 'Pretty Tough Jacket' series.
“I hope that this project inspires these women to remember that they are tough, that we all have something in common and that we know how each other feels,” said Wade.