Actress Tamala Jones of ABC’s Castle has teamed up with the Joe Niekro Foundation and luxury hat maker Canada Bliss in a unique model search for brain aneurysms survivors.
According to research, the sudden and fatal illness is believed to claim more than 500,000 lives annually and has a greater chance of occurring in African American women.
After, recovering from the burst of a swollen blood vessel at the young age of 23, Jones decided to go public with her health issue back in 2011, and recounted her experience to BlackEnterprise.com.
“[I woke] up one morning with a massive headache; feeling like I had to use the bathroom, like I had to urinate really bad,” she said in a previous interview. “When I got out of bed I had no balance. I was walking on my toes and I was stomping. When I got to the bathroom, I plopped down on the toilet. I had no control over my body weight. And when I couldn’t go I was like, Oh, my God, I just had to pee really bad and now I don’t have to. Then, I got up because my head was hurting, and I looked in the mirror and I’m telling you two seconds after I looked in that mirror I dropped and hit the floor.”
Now a longtime supporter of the cause, Jones has sparked the model search as part of her early-detection aneurysm campaign and survivor self esteem initiative, to help educate others and make them aware of the warning signs. It’s also designed to encourage survivors to share their personal experiences.
“This is more than a model search, it a message to survivors that by sharing our stories we help save lives,” Jones said in a statement. “For a long time I did not discuss my brain aneurysm out of fear, so I understand the silence of survivors but now we are giving them not only a voice but faces too.”
Canada Bliss collaborated with Jones to create the signature line Tamala By Canada Bliss to help raise awareness of brain aneurysms. The company is now taking its efforts a step further by placing survivors chosen via the model search in advertising for the brand.
The model search is currently taking place through June 5th and Jones’ is seeking survivors age 18 and over to come on board with the ad campaign. To enter participants must submit a 500-word essay along with two photos to BASurvivorModelSearch@gmail.com.
Proceeds from the sales of Tamala By Canada Bliss, according to the news release, benefit brain aneurysm awareness and research.