By Asia Gaskin
As FAB as it is to be single and sexy in 2014, for many single women, the silence of loneliness can be louder than midtown traffic at rush hour. If you’re not careful the loneliness could turn into depression and the depression could into something worse, and then…you’re screwed. So many women look fierce on the surface but are secretly dealing with issues like loneliness, disease, depression, abortion, weight loss, you name it. Star of OWN’s, “Love and the City,” and Life Coach, Bershan Shaw, was tired of suffering in silence and decided to do something about it.
During her second battle with breast cancer she was inspired to give people a platform to voice their issues and receive encouragement from others. Her social media website, URAWarrior.com does just that. Bershan wants you to pop the balloons of your one-man pity party and reach out for support!
In 2007, at the age of 33, she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Feeling ashamed of her disease she privately underwent treatment. “I went through the process by myself because I didn’t want to be known as the sick girl,” says Shaw. “I couldn’t believe I was diagnosed with breast cancer that young. That’s not a disease you to get at 33; you’re [stereotypically] supposed to get it in your 50s or 60s. I wanted to push it under the carpet. I didn’t want to talk about it. I just wanted to go through [my treatments] and carry on.” And that’s exactly what she did.
Two years later, a few weeks before her wedding, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and told she only had 3 months to live. Instead of hanging her head in defeat she vowed to do the work and walk with God in her fight to beat her death sentence. “Something clicked inside of me and said, no, you are a warrior Bershan, you are going to beat this […] I said to God, if you heal me through this process I’ll be a vessel. Let me encourage people not to live in silence.”
During chemotherapy, Bershan realized other people had issues and were embarrassed to share their feelings about them too. “I thought, ‘where do people go when they’re lonely or depressed?’ You’re not going on Twitter or Facebook saying what you truly feel.”She was moved to create her space where people could share their stories of tragedy and others could offer encouraging tools toward triumph.
Knowing she could reach millions through social media, Bershan shared #URAWarrior and #IamAWarrior tagged videos of people’s stories on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. As her hashtags increased in popularity, Shaw’s in boxes began to flood with stories of people dealing with disease, domestic violence, homosexuality, infertility, and more. Thus her social networking website, URAWarrior.com was born.
Affectionately referred to as, “the Facebook for support,”URAWarrior.com is a place for WARRIORS who are currently dealing with their issues or have faced and overcome adversity. “If you have been through it, overcome it, dealing with it, or supporting others that are thriving despite your circumstance, please share your story. Whether it is through art, dance, fitness, writing, videos, poetry, we want to hear from you,” says Shaw.
The website is an open forum where people can get encouraged and inspired by others. The “warrior wall,” is a popular feature allowing people to upload videos documenting their journeys. Everyone is invited to speak in the community publicly or privately on their personal profile page. URAWarrior.com’s main goal is to show others that you don’t have to suffer in silence and we can heal through human connection.