February 2013 – Daisi Pollard Sepulveda-Low

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SUPPORT DAISI!

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Purchase her exclusive KickAss Women photo set for $4.95. This set is only available for 30 days and 100% of the proceeds go directly to Daisi. No better way to show you are a fan!

(All sales are final. No refund.)

If you are a loyal reader of KickAssWomen.com you will notice that this month’s KickAss Woman of the Month is not a fitness competitor or fitness model. However Daisi has kicked ass somewhere else besides the gym. She kicked meningitis’ ass in the hospital! We have gotten to know Daisi very well over the recent months and can tell you she is a great woman and true inspiration. We hope that you all can support Daisi as she is our first model to have an exclusive KickAssWomen.com photoset for sale with 100% of the proceeds going to her. It’s a new way we are supporting our favorite women and we know after reading Daisi’s story you will want to support her! – kaw

Most of the women on this site are kicking ass in the gym, sports or on stage. You kicked meningitis’ ass. How does an LA actress and model get meningitis?
Wow, I am about to drop a bombshell but I believe it is for a good cause and will send an important message! I have never told my story in its entirety before. I was never as ready as I am now. I am in a good place emotionally to talk about this on such an open forum so here goes. I’ve always been very vague about the details surrounding my contraction of meningitis. I’ve kept my medical history rather private between my close family members because I know how assumptions are made, people get judgmental and there arises nasty stigmas. I believe as President of a national organization such as Meningitis Foundation of America, I have been gifted the opportunity to really touch people and educate them beyond the stereotypes of what we perceive to be true about illnesses such as meningitis.

I contracted meningitis in the summer of 2006. It was the week before Memorial Day Weekend. I had just turned 26. My ex-fiancé had just proposed to me on a romantic gondola ride Long Beach. We had a wonderful weekend and then I woke up with a blister on my labia and terribly enlarged lymph nodes in my armpits and groin. I had contracted an STD- Herpes to be exact. I immediately called my physician to schedule an appointment although I knew exactly what it was. I just wasn’t sure how bad it was going to be being I had never contracted an STD before. I definitely was not thinking it would end up turning into meningitis.

I confronted my fiancé about it. Of course, I was angry. He denied having herpes but I insisted he get checked. Upon my examination, my doctor had concluded that I had contracted the virus within the past 10 days and I was having an initial outbreak. She informed me that this was probably going to be the worst outbreak I would ever have provided I didn’t reinfect myself on another area of my body. She gave me a prescription for Valtrex and pain reliever; then suggested I rest for a few days. With my health in jeopardy and my relationship in shambles, a very supportive friend who also managed my insurances suggested I take a trip to San Diego to de-stress a little. I felt up to the trip being as I wouldn’t have to move around too much. I drove to San Diego and enjoyed a show at Sea World and lunch at a near by restaurant. I was in good spirits knowing that I had good friends that were there to help me through this tough time.

On my drive home is when everything changed. While driving on the 5 Freeway, I started getting a terrible migraine and my vision started to become blurry. My body started to get really sore and stiff. I got nauseous and pulled over to the side of the freeway. I vomited, cleaned myself up and tried to keep going. At some point I reached around to touch the back of my neck and found that I had a bump which felt like a blister. That is when I began freaking out! My inner voice said, ” How the hell does a herpes blister get in the back of my head?” I panicked all the way back to LA. To this day I don’t quite know how I made it home safely. That night was living HELL. I repetitively threw up all over my house. My fiance was still living with me at the time, we hadn’t completely split yet. I asked him to take me to the emergency room. The doctors examined me. They thought I was just having a worse than typical outbreak. They prescribed a stronger ibuprofen and sent me home. Through the day my symptoms worsened. I couldn’t keep any food down. I had diarrhea and vomiting. Everything was in pain and blurry. My temperature was increasing. My headache was worsening to the point of tears. That night I was in a cold sweat. I got out of bed and walked to the kitchen, vomited in the sink until I was vomiting blood. I was crying so much. I tried to make it to the bathroom. I went to sit on the toilet to catch my bearings. When I got urge to vomit again, I passed out and hit the side of my bathroom sink. My body must have skid on the floor. The thump was so loud; it woke up my fiancé. He picked me up and rushed me back to the emergency room. I was bloody, smelly with vomit, emaciated and probably on deaths door.

It took the doctors in the emergency room hours to diagnose me. They gave me catscans, mri’s, blood tests and everything under the sun. I didn’t fit the circumstances of a meningitis victim. I wasn’t an infant, wasn’t living in a dorm or in school. I hadn’t been exposed directly to someone that had meningitis as far as they could tell. It wasn’t until 12 hours later that the emergency room doctor that was attending to me recognized symptoms that would classify as meningitis. The give away? I was almost blind, I couldn’t stand any kind of noise and I couldn’t turn my neck left, right, touch it to my chest or extend it backwards. I’ll save you the graphics of what happened next but I given a epidural and a spinal tap which confirmed meningitis. I was of course, admitted into the hospital. Thanks to them, I am here today!

It is a very dangerous situation you were in. How did you beat it?
I didn’t know anything about meningitis. I had never heard the word. While I was sick, I didn’t know how bad it was or how bad it could have been. I think what largely saved my life was my naivety. I knew it was pretty serious for them to qurantin me and assign me a neurologist and infectious disease specialist. While in the hospital, I had a good talk with myself about how I ended up here. I made a few promises to myself. One, that I would be leaving this hospital alive and two that no matter how bad it was when I left, I would not give up. I would not fail myself again. The day I was released from the hospital, I began working on putting myself back together. I broke it off with the fiancé, Signed up with a therapist that was recommended by a close friend, made a list of things I still liked about myself and a separate list of all the things I had the ability to change. I began to execute that list. The first thing was my self-esteem. I had two things to deal with: the stereotype of having an STD (Herpes) and a disease that no one had rarely heard of, meningitis. I felt like a walking plague. It took a long time for me to get over this. Sometimes, that feeling still creeps up on me.

SUPPORT DAISI!

Buy Now

Purchase her exclusive KickAss Women photo set for $4.95. This set is only available for 30 days and 100% of the proceeds go directly to Daisi. No better way to show you are a fan!

(All sales are final. No refund.)

You are now a spokesperson for meningitis awareness. What do we need to know?
The most important thing to know about meningitis is that there is not one way to get it. The biggest question I have heard is, “How did you get that?” as if there is way to avoid getting it. There are preventive measures. However, how I contracted meningitis via herpes is not preventable. Even if my ex-fiancé had told me that he had herpes there was no way to predict that in my case I would get meningitis. Meningitis is not an STD. Meningitis can be a consequence of having an STD but not in all cases. There are people that have or get what is called herpes meningitis. It is not as rare as we think. Herpes meningitis is just not recorded as much as it should because it is classified as viral and in some cases appears to clear up on its own. However, there is much danger in that assumption. Many people are living with irreparable brain and neurological damage after being infected with herpes and consequentially acquiring meningitis. I believe my circumstances are a good example for showing how a common STD we take for granted with almost 90% of the population has some form of herpes, most do not know it because they are dormant. Both HSV1 and HSV2 can lead to meningitis. When I first began telling a few of my friends I had contracted herpes from my ex, most of them were like, “oh, that’s nothing. I know so and so who has herpes” or they themselves have herpes but had never seen a symptom just a doctors diagnosis, so they didn’t take it seriously. In fact, that is what happened with my ex, he had herpes for 12 years but had never seen any major symptoms. He never even considered it an important matter until I got sick.

Our readers want to know, what do YOU do to stay in shape?
I have always been very physically active and fit. As I have gotten older I have changed my workout and eating habits. I don’t believe in a “one solution fits all” health/fitness plan. When I turned 30 I decreased the amount of weigth training I do and focused on running and stretching. Martial arts related exercises and practices have become part of my daily life and fitness regime. I also dramatically changed my diet from vegetarian to including chicken, seafood and red meat. I eat as little processed food as possible. Meaning that I do not consume packaged cheeses, processed spreads, sauces, breads and so forth. It seems hard but it is actually easy. I buy fresh cheese, I make my own spreads and sauces from scratch and buy bakery fresh breads whenever I eat them.

You are a model in LA. Do you HAVE to be beautiful to live there?
LA is a very unique place when it comes to beauty. It is the most diverse place in the country. The women here are typically georgeous. The ability and also expectation to be conscious of your aesthetic representation is pretty high. However, the stereotypes of what defines beauty is also extremely prevalent. Anything “ethnic” is still not considered “beautiful” as universally as being caucasian with blonde hair and blue eyes. I think that is the look that has branded Hollywood and continues to do so in one way or another. You have to define your own niche and stick to it.

Not being a “fitness personality”, what do you think of all the women athletes on this site?
The women on the site are definitely Kick Ass!! I have read all of their stories and each one of them are phenomenal in their own right. I love seeing beautiful women do great things and keeping such a positive outlook on life and their goals. I think there is so much pressure for women to be competitive against one another in aspects that are not sustainable, primarily when it comes to the physical form but I think these women excel because they are not trying to fit a mold that was made for them but instead are carving out a mold for themselves.

What do you have coming up in your life/career?
We specifically did this shoot for a new indie film I have coming up called Lovotica. I hope you enjoy them! It is about the new fad of robotic love, people that fall in love with robots they can program to have emotions. It is a growing trend in Asia and the tech geek scene. I play the lead, a double character (robot and human) and I get to wear an awesome gold bikini pretty much throughout the entire film. It is a great feeling being considered “sexy” after you have overcome an extremely terrifying health scare. I am trying to embrace every moment!

We love what you are doing and will keep following you. Any last words for our readers?
Help us educate others on the facts and risks of contracting meningitis. Support the Meningitis Foundation of America by purchasing one of my Kick Ass Women posters shot for the film Lovotica. Take care of your health, it really is the only guarantee of wealth and success we will ever have!

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