Samantha Paige had already survived thyroid cancer when she tested positive for an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
The new year is upon us, which means we no longer have an excuse to over-indulge and skip going to the gym. While most fitness companies choose to capitalize on this ideal—urging us to fulfill our New Year's resolutions—Equinox's new ad campaign is slightly different, yet equally motivational.
On Tuesday, the fitness giant revealed a new campaign called "Commit to Something"—featuring an ad with model Samantha Paige baring her mastectomy scars.
In an interview with PEOPLE, Paige revealed that she had already overcome thyroid cancer when she tested positive for an inherited mutation in her BRCA1 gene. This meant that her risk of breast and ovarian cancer was high, forcing her to make a very important decision. (Read: Inspirational stories from 8 cancer survivors)
"When my daughter was 7 months old, my determination to be healthy for my baby was so strong that I decided it was the right time to preemptively have the double mastectomy," Paige said. "I didn't want to keep going for MRIs and mammograms every three to six months — it was too unnerving, and the risk seemed too great."
So, to put her mind at ease, the young mother underwent the procedure and opted for reconstructive breast surgery. Unfortunately, just a little while later, Paige suffered from a staph infection that stayed with her for months. Attributing her illness to her silicon implants, she decided to have her implants removed as they never quite felt right in the first place.
"When I had the implants out, I realized that we all know what matters most to us, and the next step is the action we take to stand up for those ideals and those beliefs and those values," she says. "Equinox's message of 'Commit to Something' is about being able to look at yourself in the mirror and realize who you are and stand up to those values. It just dovetails with what I believe in."
More than anything, Paige hopes that the campaign will inspire others to embrace their flaws and become more self-confident in the process.
"I hope people will look at the image and walk away saying, 'Wow, that's incredible that that woman feels so comfortable in her own skin,'" she says. "After coming to this place of loving my body and every scar, my goal is to influence, first of all, how my daughter feels about her body as a growing woman, and if it can influence another person to do the same, I feel as if I have done something beautiful."