A Powerful Upbringing

Lauren Wasser, a model and activist, has overcome incredible challenges to become a prominent figure in the fashion industry. Despite losing both her legs to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) from a tampon in 2012, she refused to let it define her. Today, she uses her platform to raise awareness about the dangers of TSS and the need for better menstrual product regulation, advocating for women’s health and safety.

Lauren Wasser grew up in a family of models in California. With both her parents working in the industry, it’s no surprise that she entered the world of fashion at a young age. She even made her debut in Vogue alongside her mother when she was just 4 months old, showing her natural affinity for the industry.

Before her life took a drastic turn, Lauren Wasser excelled as a basketball player and earned a prestigious athletic scholarship. Eventually, she chose to pursue a modeling career while still leading an active lifestyle. Little did she know that her life was about to change forever.

At the age of 24, Lauren Wasser experienced a life-altering event that would leave her without both legs. She revealed her harrowing experience during an episode of The Diary of a CEO podcast, stating, “I lost both of my legs because of a tampon.”

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare syndrome caused by excessive growth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, leading to the production of a lethal toxin in the bloodstream. It gained widespread recognition in the late 1970s when several young women fell seriously ill. By the 1980s, the syndrome was affecting about 6 in 100,000 individuals.

For Lauren Wasser, TSS started with flu-like symptoms and eventually led to renal failure and two heart attacks. Faced with slim chances of survival, she was put into a coma to save her life.

After waking up from a week-and-a-half-long coma, Lauren Wasser described the shocking reality she faced. Not knowing what had happened, she discovered her feet were on fire and gangrene had set in. Eventually, she had to make the difficult decision to amputate her right leg. In 2018, she underwent another amputation, this time of her left leg.

Lauren Wasser has become a vocal advocate for raising awareness about TSS and promoting safer menstrual products. She highlights the detrimental components of tampons, such as chlorine bleach, dioxin, and synthetic fibers, which can create a dangerous combination in our bodies. Collaborating with Madeline Mosby, a mother who lost her daughter to TSS, they aim to change the world together.

Despite the challenges she faced, Lauren Wasser made a triumphant comeback in the modeling world. She earned the nickname “the girl with the golden legs” and became a symbol of beauty and strength. Embracing her new condition, she chose gold-toned prosthetics that stood out and embraced her unique journey.