Since then, she has founded a fashion and lifestyle website, Buro 24/7, and a venture capital fund, Future Tech Lab. (And, unwittingly, she has also entered the broader political discourse, from weathering accusations of racism, homophobia, and transphobia to making a surprise cameo in the Mueller Report.)
But that is apparently just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Duma has been dealing with behind the scenes. On Sunday, she shared with her 1.6 million Instagram followers that earlier this year, she was diagnosed with “a rare lung disease” and given seven months to live.
The current status of Duma’s health remains unclear, but the tone of her statement is upbeat: “It was crazy scary then,” Duma continued. “But looking back, I realise that the past few months of recovery were possibly the happiest months of my entire life.”
The health scare, Duma explained, prompted her to take a step back and reevaluate her influencer identity, as well as her overall outlook on existence. “My entire life I was seeking approval and obsessing over ‘likes’ both in the physical and virtual worlds, without realizing that I actually had to learn how to ‘like’ myself first,” Duma wrote. “Years of self criticism and doubt, stress, dieting, physically, mentally and emotionally pushing and pushing myself got my immune system to collapse and I had made myself fatally sick.”
Duma, who was seemingly as active as ever on Instagram over the past seven months, did not get into specifics as to how she was eventually able to bounce back. (Though she did say that “a silly mistake, made by my lawyer, led me to an early diagnosis, and gave me a chance to live.”)
Instead, she chose to focus on the present: “I suddenly stopped running the marathon and realized how much I love life … I wake up happy, just because I can spend one more day here. Not asking for more or trying to run faster.”
As for the future, Duma wrote that she’ll “continue to follow [her] big dream,” which she “genuinely believe[s]” can help save the planet. Since she isn’t ready to share it just yet, she concluded by thanking “all the wonderful people” in her life: “I love you with all my heart (and my lungs ?).”