On May 31, 2014, one of the natural hair community’s most respected and revered YouTube vloggers, Meechy Monroe received a diagnosis of a rare sarcoma (a vascular cancerous tumor) in her brain. Meechy isrecognized by many as one of the trailblazers in natural hair and beauty blogging. The Chicago-based vlogger partnered with her sister Vaughn to form the beauty and natural hair blogger duo better known as “The Monroe Sisters”. Over the last four years Meechy and Vaughn have been a trendsetting force in the natural hair blogosphere; providing style tips and step-by-step tutorials for their thousands of youtube subscribers and supporters. They have taken beauty and natural hair blogging to the next level; hosting events in the US and Europe and working as brand ambassadors for some of the beauty industry’s leading companies.
Meechy has suffered multiple minor strokes which have caused physical and speech challenges. Since her diagnosis, she has undergone 2 brain surgeries and recently had the last of chemotherapy. Meechy has overcome so much and continues to share her journey; inspiring survivors and supporters through her website updates and the #GetWellMeechy hashtag. With all of the inspiration Meechy has giventhe natural hair community, it was no surprise to see the outpouring of support when news broke of Meechy’s diagnosis.
On Saturday, September 19th, 2014, Constance Cash, founder of Team Natural, LLC partnered with title sponsor Cantu to host the Curls for a Cause fundraiser event at the Back Room in Chicago. The event was intended to bring together supporters to raise money to donate to help cover costs for Meechy’s recovery care. Over 26 sponsors, many natural hair businesses helped to make the magical event a reality.
The event was attended by Meechy’s family and friends and many of her Chicago-based supporters. The event included entertainment by theChicago native Brown Audio and a fabulous hair demo, showcasing the work of vloggers Sumetra Reed and Tiffany Nichols using Cantu products. A stellar panel featuring some of the leading natural hair and beauty bloggers provided information, laughs and lots of support for Meechy. Guests, MsVaughnTV, Afrobella, celebrity makeup artist Alexandra Butler, Shalleen-Kaye of Natural Hair Does Care, and vlogger Donna of Donedo shared their different experiences with blogging, business and branding.
The event closed with a moving speech delivered by Meechy. She recounted some of her journey and thanked her family, friends and supporters; displaying her tenacity and faith in the words she shared. The event raised $4,500 from ticket sales and donations and included an additional gift of $1000 by Courtney Natural Hair, founder of The Mane Choice.
The night was truly one to remember. The uniting of women around curls for a cause brings to mind a quote by the great Phylicia Rashad.
“Any time women come together with a collective intention, it's a powerful thing. Whether it's sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”
The love and support outpoured by the natural hair community for one of their brightest shining stars was nothing short of magic.
Catch more photos and a video recap of the event at Team Natural.
Nickecia “Dr. Nick” Alder is creator and editor-in-chief of Black Girl Fly Mag, writer and doctoral student. She is an “around the way girl”, hailing from Queens, with a distinctive New York City flair for fashion.
She studies the portrayal of Black women and girls in popular culture media and enjoys writing about Black women and culture, fashion beauty and mental health.