Claim Your Crown
Since childhood, Rupa Valdez has had a passion for travel—her trips taking her everywhere from Helsinki’s happening Design District to the penguin-bespeckled Boulders Beach near Cape Town. Now, a professor at the University of Virginia and a mother of two, Valdez continues to satiate her wanderlust with adventures to the far reaches of the world—not letting the fact that she’s in and out of a wheelchair stop her from exploring. Instead, she’s helping others with disabilities tap into their own passion for travel through the Blue Trunk Foundation, a nonprofit providing resources and information to make travel more accessible for everyone. Here, she shares with us her Claim Your Crown moment—how she didn’t let her disability become a barrier to the life she desires to lead and how she’s using her personal experience to proactively blaze a trail for others.
Claim Your Crown
Ranavat Botanics is dedicated to going beyond skincare to create a community around empowerment. Just as we want to help instill confidence and promote self-care, we want to celebrate beauty that goes more than skin deep. One way we’re doing this is by sharing stories from incredible individuals who have faced adversity and turned their experiences into empowerment—what we call a “Claim Your Crown” moment. At 31, Parul Somani had just given birth to her second daughter, recently started a new job, and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing played an integral role in her early diagnosis and empowered her to become her own advocate. Somani is a testament to the value of genetic testing and today she’s actively helping to make it more accessible to everyone, making it her mission to educate others and remove barriers to access. Here, she shares with us her Claim Your Crown moment—how she demonstrated incredible strength during the most challenging time of her life and ultimately discovered a calling that would ignite a new passion and pave the way for her next journey.