Mary Ly loves to show off. Soon, she'd like to get paid for it.
"Modeling and acting are my passions," she said. "I love it. My main focus now is getting my acting career started in Los Angeles."
It would be hard to pick out a potential career that is harder to get into and succeed at than acting or modeling. But you'll forgive Mary for thinking that it's a challenge she will conquer. You see: she's faced more difficult challenges before, and survived.
"My transplant experience was the most challenging thing I've faced in my life," said Mary, who received a transplant in 2005 following a diagnosis of aplastic anemiaToo few red blood cells in the bloodstream, resulting in insufficient oxygen to tissues and organs.. "I figured that if I made it through such a long, difficult journey, and came out blessed, I can face anything."
Determination is one of Mary's defining characteristics.
"During the transplant and recovery," she remembered, "I told myself that I couldn't give up because I have a world to explore, a life to live and dreams to fulfill."
Mary believes the transplant experience made her into a person she never thought she could be. She learns not to take life for granted. And she knows challenges can be overcome.
So don't be surprised if you see Mary Ly in a movie some day, or on the cover of Vogue. Because she's not going to give up, she's not going to stop, until she makes her dreams real.
"My dreams are bigger, my faith is stronger and my hopes are higher," she said, reflecting on her life now. "Our world is too beautiful and precious to let go."
Does she have any advice for patients about to undergo transplants?
"The number one thing to always remember is to believe in yourself and have faith."