My name is Evana Kuik, fashion designer. I was successful with my fashion shows for Amsterdam Fashion Week in 2014/15. But in 2016 my life took a turn in the wrong direction. I was diagnosed with diffuse systemic sclerosis, a rare, incurable and deadly disease that hardens my skin and increases the connective tissue in my organs.
Consequence: a lot of pain, but also stiff limbs. At a certain moment, I barely could walk. I could no longer move my fingers; drawing, designing and making clothes seemed to go further away. Even worse, if the disease affected my heart and lungs, it would have been fatal. Fortunately, it did not come to that because I was allowed to undergo a stem cell transplantation; a miraculous treatment that offered me a second chance in life.
Because of my young age and because this risky treatment is still reasonably new, I wanted to share my entire process – from transplant to recovery. I wanted to show, in an honest way, that life is not just about beautiful fashion, beautiful people and beautiful photos on Instagram. Life can take an unexpected turn, and then you have to pick yourself up.
Currently, I’m doing well and taking life step by step, but I could not have done this without the help of my family, friends and you. I have shared my story through several intense vlogs on Linda.tv and have gained a lot of followers that still give me a lot of support on a daily basis. Here you can see my vlogs.
Before all of this happened, my life was all about design, fashion and my career as a designer. And I must admit it went quite well too: just before my diagnosis I was nominated to represent The Netherlands during the finale for the European Woolmark Prize 2016/2017 in Milan. Wow, my collection in Milan!