May Inspirational Woman
Britta Aragon is the founder of Cinco Vidas, entrepreneur behind CV Skinlabs, and author of When Cancer Hits, a WVE Book Selection. She is a tireless and inspiring advocate for bridging the gap between the doctor’s office and everyday living for those undergoing cancer treatments, and for getting toxic chemicals out of products that we put on our skin. WVE continually looks to Britta’s work as a resource for our members.
“My journey started when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease at the age of 16,” Britta says. “I went through chemotherapy, lost most of my hair, had night sweats, got really dry skin, and suffered weight gain, but I was fortunate. I got through it. Afterwards, I realized life is a precious gift that can be taken away in the snap of a finger. It made me stronger, and I know it helped develop my free spirit and positive outlook on life. But it also shook me up a little, and took me in a new direction that I never would have expected—and that would eventually lead me to my purpose in life.”
Using her experience as a starting point, Britta focused on health, nutrition, and skin care, and then went on to become a makeup artist. Seven years after her own diagnosis, however, she would face cancer again, when her father—Javier Aragon—was diagnosed with colon cancer. “As time went by,” Britta says, “he had recurrences in his liver, lungs, bones, and brain. He went on to beat the cancer four times in eight years, and I grew more and more amazed at his strength, determination and faith.”
The treatments, however, including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries, wreaked havoc on Javier’s skin, hair, and nails. Britta tried to help, but she discovered that most so-called “high-quality” products were loaded with irritants, potentially harmful chemicals, and even carcinogens. Compelled to find better solutions, she researched the issue, but discovered there weren’t very many resources that targeted the dermatological side effects of cancer or other medical therapies. She also found very little information on taking care of these side effects or on finding safe personal care products.
On August 7, 2007, after the cancer returned for a fifth time, Britta’s father passed away. “My father touched so many people with his enduring spirit and positive attitude that he forever changed many lives,” she says, “most assuredly, my own. I remember while he was going through treatment, I would talk with him, sharing this experience we had in common. We felt grateful to our cancer community for all they had done to help us. We wanted to give back.”
Inspired and determined to help others, she founded Cinco Vidas in 2008, and dedicated her work to her father’s legacy.
Cinco Vidas’ services include:
- the Cinco Vidas blog, a robust, informational resource;
- Teleclasses and webinars on topics like safe self care during cancer, moving on after treatments are over, and reducing your toxic load;
- CV Skinlabs: a personal care product line that consists of nurturing skin care products made specifically for those with compromised and or sensitive skin who want safe, non-toxic solutions.